And for good reason. Given that the scars of the last general election are still fresh, the sight of David Cameron, Jeremy Corbyn, Nick Clegg and Ed Milliband all shoutily agreeing with each other that Britain should remain in Europe was a somewhat disconcerting one. More disconcerting, was the sound of labour members encouraging Cameron, a Tory Prime Minister as he decided not to dwell on the irony “that some people who want to vote to leave ,apparently want to use a ‘leave vote’ to remain” in clear reference to Mayor of London Boris Johnson’s decision to campaign for Brexit.
Indeed, there was no doubt as to who the villain of the piece was; when he stood up to ask a question Johnson was met with jeers and a shout of ‘tuck your shirt in’.
And, while Cameron may have said that because he had no intention to seek reelection, he had no agenda in putting forward his view, it is clear that there is much to be gained politically from a successful navigation of the Brexit issue either way. What is less certain is what the impact of having Johnson at the head of the ‘No’ campaign will be.
For some, like IG market analyst, Joshua Mahony, the referendum is “rapidly becoming one of the biggest risk events of 2016 for financial markets”.
He points out that Johnson’s decision to bolster the ‘out’ campaign with his support “not only serves to undermine the fruits of David Cameron’s labour in Brussels, but clearly damages UK economic confidence, with sterling pounded across the board today.