The chief executive of Britain's Rolls-Royce has written to its UK staff to tell them the engineering company is better off in the EU. The warning comes as Finance minister George Osborne says he will introduce an emergency budget if Britain votes to leave the EU. David Pollard reports
Stormy waters ahead for Brexit Britain perhaps. Its fishing fleet want out of the EU just the same - and brought their message up the Thames to the British capital. But even if they stay afloat, others could sink - say not one, but two UK finance ministers. As George Osborne and his opposition predecessor appeared together. Osborne warning of a 30 billion pound hit to UK finances. SOUNDBITE (English) GEORGE OSBORNE, UK FINANCE MINISTER, SAYING: "We have both been Chancellor as the economy faces very difficult times. We know what happens if you lose control of the economy." That's not happening yet - upbeat data puts unemployment at its lowest in a decade and pay rising. But a Brexit future would be a worry, says Rolls-Royce. Its chief executive warning staff that investment decisions could be put on hold. Like whether to go ahead with a new plant in northern England. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CMC MARKETS ANALYST, JASPER LAWLER, SAYING: "They're saying that their American counterparts, like GE, don't have this pause in their investment decisions, and that's going to give these American companies an edge. With Rolls-Royce, we really do want to pay attention to what they say because they actually represent two per cent of British goods exports and so are a major contributor to our economy." As are financial markets - which are slipping deeper into a pre-referendum funk. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CMC MARKETS ANALYST, JASPER LAWLER, SAYING: "The panic level is really ramping up ... It's spread from currency markets , we're now feeling it in stock markets too ... Investors looking for the safe-haven alternatives - that's why we've seen gilt yields on the 10-year drop to new record lows." (FISHING BOATS 'SAVE OUR COUNTRY') With eight days to go, polls just hint at a lead for the Brexiteers. For investors, the distress flares not fired yet, but certainly at the ready.