U.K. Economy Would Suffer Outside EU, Dutch Premier Rutte Says

If Britain were to leave the European Union its economy would shrink, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte told reporters early Friday morning during a meeting of EU leaders in Brussels.

“The U.K. outside of the European Union will end up being a mid-sized economy, somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, in neither America nor Europe,” Rutte said. “It will be bad news for the EU but also for the U.K.”

British Prime Minister David Cameron’s negotiations with his 27 EU counterparts stretched into a second day as he sought to renegotiate the terms of the U.K.’s membership in the bloc. If he can secure more leeway to impose welfare curbs on non-British citizens and get protections for London’s financial industry then his government could hold a referendum as soon as June on whether or not the U.K. should stay in the EU.

“There is a lot of effort going on to come to a deal,” Rutte said. “And obviously there is always the possibility that the deal is not reached”

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