Risks of staying in stagnant EU are greater than ‘risks’ of leaving

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We’ll invest MORE in the UK even if you quit the EU, says super-rich Norway

Yngve Slyngstad said wealth fund would invest more in UK if country leaves EU

He is chief executive of Norway’s £590 billion state-owned investment fund

He dismissed claims from Number Ten and In campaign about quitting Brussels

It had been said voting to leave EU would pose a significant risk to investment


11 March 2016

The boss of the world’s biggest sovereign wealth fund yesterday declared that it would invest more in the UK if we vote to leave the EU.

Yngve Slyngstad, chief executive of Norway’s £590billion state-owned investment fund, dismissed claims by Number Ten and the In campaign that quitting the Brussels club would pose a significant risk to investment.

‘We will continue to be a significant investor in the UK at about the same level as we are today and probably even increasing our investments there no matter what happens,’ he said. ‘All changes entail some risk but we would not categorize it as a significant risk.’

Oeystein Olsen, head of the Norwegian central bank which manages the fund, added: ‘The fund will remain a long-term investor. There are long-term risks and there are short-term risks. Brexit is more in the latter category.’

Leave.EU co-chairman Richard Tice said: ‘With David Cameron, Tony Blair and other leading In campaigners trying to scare voters with visions of a Brexit of Mass Destruction, especially with respect to jobs and investment, it’s fantastic to see the CEO of a £600billion sovereign wealth fund – the biggest in the world – providing the voice of reason.

‘In stark contrast to the literally daily scaremongering, this investment superpower says it does not consider Brexit “a significant risk”, and will likely increase its investments in the UK whether we leave the EU or not.’

Norway, which is not an EU member, invests income from its North Sea oil and gas fields in the fund.

In a second boost to leave campaigners, Iceland’s prime minister, Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson, said that it would seek to do a free trade deal with Britain even if we vote to quit.

‘The UK is one of our most important trading partners and whatever you decide to do we would like to have a free trade deal,’ he said.

Meanwhile, Oxford University academics said that cracking down on EU migration if Britain quits would be unlikely to damage the economy.

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