– A British vote to quit the European Union would inflict a “shock” on the global economy, G7 ministers said Saturday, May 21, presenting a united front against the prospect of a “Brexit,” AFP says.
Among the most vocal was German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, who strongly cautioned against opting to leave the 28-member EU in next month’s referendum.
“We were all of the opinion that it would be the wrong decision for the UK,” Schaeuble said at the conclusion of two days of talks in northern Japan among Group of Seven finance ministers and central bank chiefs.
“But it’s a decision to be taken by the British voters. We’re concerned that it could have negative consequences for the European and the world economy.”
The club of rich nations also issued a statement that warned a Brexit would only worsen the outlook for an unstable world, AFP says.
“Uncertainties to the global outlook have increased, while geopolitical conflicts, terrorism, refugee flows, and the shock of a potential UK exit from the European Union also complicate the global economic environment,” they said.
As the June 23 referendum on Britain’s future draws closer, finance minister George Osborne said his meetings with G7 counterparts underscored the gravity of the in-out decision.
If voters opt to leave, Britain would find it “extremely difficult” to conclude trade deals with European Union countries, he told the BBC.