Leaving the European Union could trigger a credit downgrade for some of the UK’s biggest firms, according to a report by ratings agency Moody’s.
The firm said uncertainty over negotiations could deter foreign investors and hamper the profits of retailers and firms that trade in the EU.
The report warned it could put the UK’s rating on “negative outlook” if British voters back the referendum in June and the economic costs would “outweigh the benefits”.
The report added: “There may also be some political pressure to limit the UK’s access to the single market, in order to discourage other member states from following the UK precedent. This would imply somewhat weaker economic growth in the UK and, as such, the new status quo may also result in a lower sterling exchange rate, which could help to rebalance the economy.”