Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron leaves 10 Downing street for the House of Commons for his weekly Prime Minister's Question time, in London, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016.
Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron leaves 10 Downing street for the House of Commons for his weekly Prime Minister's Question time, in London, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016. AP Photo - Alastair Grant

G20 warns of ‘global shock’ if UK quits EU

THE campaign to keep Britain in the European Union has received a major boost after the G20 group of the world's most powerful countries warned that a Brexit vote would cause a "shock to the global economy".

British Chancellor George Osborne, in China for the meeting of global finance ministers, said the warning exposed the danger to living standards and the economic recovery.

"Here at the G20, finance leaders and central bank governors of the world's biggest economies have raised serious concerns about the risks posed by a UK exit from the EU," he said.

"They have concluded unanimously today that what they call the shock of a potential UK vote to leave is among the biggest economic dangers this year."

Mr Osborne also launched a thinly veiled attack on the London Mayor Boris Johnson over his decision to back a leave vote - insisting that the decision was not "some amusing adventure into the unknown".

Mr Johnson has taken a back seat since revealing he would campaign to leave the EU last week.

British voters will decide on the country's future in the European Union at a poll in June.

The risk of a British exit from the European Union was included in the G20's final communique released by finance ministers in Shanghai, China, on Saturday.

The Italian Finance Minister, Pier Carlo Padoan, said that a decision by Britain to leave the EU would be classified as "a powerful geopolitical shock".

Mr Osborne welcomed the public warning.

"If that's their assessment of the impact on the world economy, imagine what it would do to the UK," he said.

However, the former Conservative chancellor Lord Lawson ridiculed the G20 warning.

Lord Lawson, the chairman of the Vote Leave group wanting Britain to quit the EU, said: "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."



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