G20 leaders say Brexit heightens risk to global economy

CHENGDU, China, July 24 (UPI) — Brexit heightens risks for the world economy, G20 summit leaders said of the U.K. vote to exit the European Union.

The decision “adds to the uncertainty” for the global economy, economic leaders from the world’s 20 largest economies said following the two-day summit in China. They urged the UK to remain “a close partner of the EU” amid concerns discussions between the UK and EU leaders would be rancorous, BBC reported.

The finance ministers pledged to work to boost the global economy and deal with the potential protectionism issue in the wake of the vote, the Independent reported.

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Philip Hammond, the U.K.’s chancellor of the exchequer, said the issue came up repeatedly during the G20 summit, which has now ended. “The reality is there will be a measure of uncertainty continuing right up to the conclusion of our negotiations with the EU.” Still, the G20 leaders said they have the tools to handle the economic and financial consequences of Brexit.

“In the future, we hope to see the UK as a close partner of the EU,” G20 leaders said in a statement following the summit.

Hammond said the United Kingdom plans to work to reduce that uncertainty by laying out “more clearly the kind of arrangement we envisage going forward with the European Union.” Still, he said the process could take two years, the Telegraph reported.

How quickly it happens depends on how quickly the rest of the EU engages in the process, Hammond said. “The uncertainty will only end when the deal is done.”

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