It’s seven years since Britain voted to leave the EU. We’ve dug up some archive reporting from the day after the vote.
Nigel Farage has denied placing currency bets against sterling on the night of the Brexit referendum.
A spokesperson said Farage “had no financial interest in currency movements on the night of Brexit”, after a Bloomberg report alleged that currency speculators used inaccurate early predictions of a remain victory to profit by shorting the pound.
Farage twice said he thought the remain campaign had won the referendum but, according to Bloomberg, was privy to private exit poll data indicating the public had voted in favour of leaving the EU.
At 10pm on the day of the referendum, Farage gave an interview to Sky News in which he said: “it looks like remain will edge it. Ukip and I are going nowhere and the party will only continue to grow stronger in the future.”
Just over an hour later, Farage gave a second interview to the Press Association, in which he said: “I don’t know, but I think remain will edge it, yes … If I am wrong, I would be thrilled. But it is what we have seen out and about, and what I know from some of my friends in the financial markets who have done some big polling.”
Bloomberg noted that books, by the leave campaign financier Arron Banks and the political journalist Tim Shipman, both said Farage learned the results of “an unidentified, financial services exit poll” before polls closed at 10pm.
Farage told Bloomberg that the only external exit poll he received on the day of the referendum was conducted by Survation. Survation’s poll correctly predicted that leave would win the referendum. He repeatedly told Bloomberg that he learned the results of the exit poll “minutes after” Sky broadcast his comments.
The news of an apparent concession by the leave campaign’s most prominent figure immediately after polls closed pushed the value of sterling higher.
However, when the pound subsequently crashed as the true result became clear, any individuals or companies with short bets would have profited.
Related: Lies, Damned Lies, and Boris