IMF, China Officials Voice Concerns Over `Brexit' at G-20

A British exit from the European Union was singled out by the International Monetary Fund and China as a potential risk to stability during discussion among global finance chiefs in Shanghai.

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, Chinese central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan and Chinese Finance Minister Lou Jiwei voiced their concerns at Group of 20 talks late Friday, according to a G-20 official who declined to be identified because the discussions were private.

Spanish Finance Minister Luis De Guindos said in Shanghai on Friday the matter of Britain’s referendum on its membership of the EU, which will be held on June 23, would feature in the final G-20 communique, which will be released Saturday.

It would allow Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne to argue that remaining in the 28-nation bloc is important to policy makers running the world economy as polls show the outcome of the vote is hard to call. Osborne, one of the chief architects of Britain’s EU renegotiation, has staked his reputation, and his chance of succeeding Prime Minister David Cameron, on a referendum win. 

Britain’s future in the EU also dominated talks between Osborne and senior Chinese government officials in Beijing on the eve of two-day G-20 meeting.

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