World / Europe

OECD warns of negative impact of Brexit on EU, UK economies

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-03-04 09:06
THE HAGUE - Britain leaving the European Union (EU) would be bad for the bloc's economy and the country's economic prospects, deputy secretary-general of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Stefan Kapferer said on Thursday.

"The main advantage of the EU is the free trade of goods and services, which will be negatively affected if the British decide to leave the EU," said the German economist of the Paris-based organization.

And, "a Brexit will cause an additional uncertainty during a time when our economies are facing uncertain perspectives due to a number of different reasons," said Kapferer during his visit to the Netherlands to present the OECD regular bi-annual survey of the Dutch economy.

According to the OECD, the EU is an important market for the United Kingdom. EU countries account for 53 percent of Britain's imports and 48 percent of its exports. The country's main trading partner in 2014 was Germany, which accounted for 12.3 percent of the total trade in Britain. In second position was the United States (9.5 percent), followed by the Netherlands (7.5 percent), China (7.3 percent) and France (5.9 percent).

In case of a Brexit, the Dutch economy would also be negatively affected, Kapferer predicted. He added that major multinational companies currently based in the UK might opt for moving their European headquarters to other EU countries.
"But it is too early to predict what will be the outcome on the financial sector and what will happen to different branches of financial organizations," said Kapferer.

A referendum on whether Britain should remain in the European Union is to be held on June 23.
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