Policy uncertainty fuels market volatility, and the United Kingdom is no exception. It will take four months to resolve the status of Britain within the European Union for the time being, future institutional arrangements are difficult to predict. So why is the referendum taking place? A lenient interpretation is that the crisis in the euro area, and the steep increase in immigration, made the public question the United Kingdom’s links with the continent more than in the past. A more skeptical interpretation is that a symbolic renegotiation was motivated by internal political competition in Britain.