Hedge fund money could drive Britain out of Europe

Britain is on the cusp of leaving Europe and it could all be down to some of the wealthiest individuals and financial institutions — the hedge funds.

The Financial Times reports that hedge fund billionaire Sir Michael Hintze, who founded hedge fund CQS back in 1999, is “considering” a big donation to the Vote Leave campaign, a high-profile campaign group that recently launched.

The FT didn’t say how much the alleged donation would be but the newspaper pointed out that Hintze has already given £3.2 million ($US4.9 million) to the Conservatives over the last 10 years.

Hintze’s son is already working as a researcher for the group, which is calling for people to vote no in the upcoming referendum on Britain’s EU membership.

Crispin Odey, the founder of hedge fund Odey Asset Management, has already backed the campaign, leading to fears in the Conservative party that hedge fund cash could power the anti-EU campaign to victory.

David Cameron promised an in/out referendum on Europe by 2017 as part of the election earlier this year. At the time he was with rising support for anti-EU party UKIP and felt he had to respond.

But Cameron and the Conservative Party are pro-EU and must now convince the nation that it’s better to stay in Europe than leave.

Vote Leave has already attracted cross-party support and support from leading business figures including Odey and Patissere Valarie chairman Luke Johnson.

Recent polls have showed that Britain is slightly in favour of leaving the EU. UK economist Robert Wood and his team at Bank of America Merrill Lynch that “current polls suggest that whether the British people would choose to leave the EU in a referendum whose date still needs to be decided is too close to call.

“In our view, many contingent factors are likely to play a role: any exacerbation of refugee issues could help ‘pro-outs’, while any strengthening in the European economic recovery may support ‘pro-ins,'” the analysts added.

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