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23/07/2016

Vatican, Goldman Sachs throw weight behind ‘In’ campaign

UK & Europe

Vatican, Goldman Sachs throw weight behind ‘In’ campaign

Vatican City, a city-state surrounded by Rome, Italy.

[Shutterstock]

The Vatican voiced hope that Britain will stay in the European Union following a referendum this year or next, while Goldman Sachs offered  a “substantial six-figure sum” to a group campaigning for Britain to stay.

The Vatican’s foreign minister, Archbishop Paul Gallagher, said he hoped that Britain would stay in the European Union, suggesting its exit would weaken Europe.

Britain would be “better in than out” of the EU, Gallagher told ITV News in an interview with ITV that aired on Wednesday (20 January).

“I think we would see it as being something that is not going to make a stronger Europe”, the archbishop said of Britain’s potential exit from the EU.

But he added: “The Holy See respects the ultimate decision of the British people – that’s for the British electorate to decide”.

The interview came as American multinational investment banking firm Goldman Sachs agreed to donate a “substantial six-figure sum” to Britain Stronger In Europe, a campaign to keep Britain in the European Union.

Britain Stronger in Europe is chaired by former Marks and Spencer CEO Stuart Rose.

Britain is due to hold a referendum this year or next on whether to remain in the EU, and prospects of it leaving the union have raised concerns among sections of the country’s business community and weighed on sterling

Goldman is not thought to be the only big bank that has agreed to fund the ‘In’ campaign, to with other firms have also agreed to commit money in recent weeks, Sky News cited sources as saying.

Britain Stronger in Europe was not immediately available for comment. But the Vote Leave campaign reacted immediately on Twitter, suggesting Goldman Sachs was defending its own interest and was ignoring those of the British people.

The Strong In campaign retorted by accusing the Leave campaign of “taking money from Goldman Sachs”.