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EU says 'Brexit' threat 'considerable' risk to European economy

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The EU warned on Tuesday that uncertainty over Britain's referendum on membership of the 28-member bloc in June poses a "considerable" risk to the European economic outlook.

[BRUSSELS] The EU warned on Tuesday that uncertainty over Britain's referendum on membership of the 28-member bloc in June poses a "considerable" risk to the European economic outlook.

"Risks associated with domestic EU developments remain considerable, as for instance... the uncertainty ahead of the UK's EU referendum," it said in its spring economic forecast.

Britain's own economy also faces risks from the issue.

"Overall, risks to the outlook are tilted to the downside, reflecting less favourable external demand and uncertainty in the lead-up to the June referendum," the forecast said.

Britain votes on June 23 in an in-out referendum on whether to stay in the EU.

The EU cut its forecasts for the British economy, saying that "growth is expected to ease in 2016 and 2017".

It projected annual growth of 1.8 per cent in 2016 and 1.9 per cent in 2017, compared to its earlier forecast in February of 2.1 per cent for both years.

AFP