The possibility of Britain exiting the European Union is a real risk and could result in the U.K. losing out on foreign investment, said Dominic Barton, the global managing director of consultancy McKinsey & Co.
U.K. voters will decide in a referendum on June 23 whether or not to remain in the EU. The prospect of a vote to leave is “that close that we need to take it seriously,” Barton said Friday in an interview at the World Economic Forum on Africa in the Rwandan capital of Kigali.
“I think it would be sad and I think there’s going to be a cost to Britain if they do leave,” he said. “I think it will have implications for foreign direct investment.”
Britain plays an important role in Europe as well as globally, Barton said.
“It’s an influencer, and you do that by being part of something, not isolating yourself,” he said.