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27 February 2016

BBC: G20 says UK EU exit would be global economy 'shock'

Finance ministers from the world's leading economies have warned of a "shock" to the global economy if the UK leaves the EU.

The ministers gave their opinion in a statement released at the end of a two-day meeting of G20 nations in China.

Chancellor George Osborne, who is at the event, told the BBC the referendum issue was "deadly serious".

But former Chancellor Lord Lawson said the G20's warning was "absurd" because 15 of its members were outside the EU.

Asked if he or his officials had asked for the warning to be included in the statement, Mr Osborne said: "We've got countries around the table like the United States of America, like the IMF, like the Chinese who frankly don't do what anyone tells them to do."

However, Lord Lawson told the BBC: "The British people will not take kindly to being told by the G20 what they should do. And the notion that the UK leaving the EU would cause an economic shock is absurd.

"Fifteen of the members of the G20 are outside the EU, and that hasn't caused an economic shock. Indeed, most of them are doing better than most of the members of the European Union."

Officials travelling with Mr Osborne say the mention of the UK's referendum in the G20 meeting's final communique is unusual. Mr Osborne has denied he pushed for it.

The chancellor told the BBC: "The financial leaders of the world's biggest countries have given their unanimous verdict and they say that a British exit from the EU would be a shock to the world economy.

"And if it's a shock to the world economy imagine what it would do to Britain."

He added: "This isn't some adventurous journey into the unknown, with all the humour attached to it, this is deadly serious."

Full article on BBC

© BBC - British Broadcasting Corporation

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