Friday

19th Apr 2019

G7 warns Brexit could hurt global growth

  • David Cameron arriving to Japan for the G7 summt earlier this week (Photo: G= Japan)

World leaders gathering in Japan have warned that a vote by the UK to leave the European Union would pose a “serious threat to global growth”.

In their final statement, G7 leaders have said that “a UK exit from the EU would reverse the trend towards greater global trade and investment, and the jobs they create, and is a further serious risk to growth.”

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

The also said that “escalated geopolitical conflicts, terrorism and refugee flows, are complicating factors in the global economic environment.”

The G7 warning comes as the campaign ahead of the vote on the UK’s membership in the EU on 23 June heats up.

European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker’s chief-of-staff, Martin Selmayr tweeted from Japan about the “horror scenario” of a G7 with populist leaders.

"#G7 2017 with Trump, Le Pen, Boris Johnson, Beppe Grillo? A horror scenario that shows well why it is worth fighting populism," he wrote.

Selmayr’s comparison of Boris Johnson, a leading conservative British politician campaigning for the UK’s exit from the EU, with France’s far-right leader Marine Le Pen, drew criticism.

Johnson for his part on Thursday criticised the British prime minister David Cameron for failing to bring down the number of immigrants arriving to the UK, a promise of Cameron’s Tory government, and a key topic in the Brexit campaign.

Johnson’s comments came as new figures released on Thursday showed a rise in immigration to the UK.

According to the Office for National Statistics office net migration rose to 333,000 in 2015, an increase of 20,000 compared to the previous year and the second-highest figure on record.

The numbers do not suggest the surge in immigration is due to the UK’s membership in the bloc. The figure however is above the goal set by the government, which pledged to reduce net migration to below 100,000 a year.

The increase in numbers gives fuel to the Leave campaign’s argument that migration is caused by the UK giving up some sovereignty to the EU.

Johnson told the BBC that the statistics “show the scandal of the promise made by politicians repeatedly that they could cut immigration to the tens of thousands and then to throw their hands up in the air and say there’s nothing we can do because Brussels has taken away our control of immigration.”

Plan B

In the meantime, European leaders are preparing for the scenario that the UK might vote to leave the bloc.

Plans have been drawn up to further integrate among the 27 member states in case Britain decides to leave.

But instead of closer monetary union, EU leaders and Brussels politicians are considering a closer security and defence cooperation, something that they hope can be achieved more easily than tighter economic integration.

According to the Financial Times leaders are preparing to calm financial markets after a possible Brexit and expect to hold a special summit of EU leaders, without Britain, to discuss the bloc’s response.

A full EU summit is scheduled for 28-29 June, a few days after the UK’s referendum.

Officials also worry that Britain’s referendum might trigger other anti-EU political forces in Europe to call for an in and out vote, and they plan tough divorce conditions for the UK to dissuade others from calling for a referendum.

Danish worry

In an unusual diplomatic move, 10 former Danish foreign ministers called on Britain in an open letter to remain in the EU.

"Britain must not relinquish its responsibilities," they wrote in the letter published on Friday's in the Times in London.

The former ministers argue the referendum is not just a British vote, but something that effects the whole of Europe. They say that a yes vote is necessary to ensure peace and freedom in Europe.

French and Italians want UK-type votes on EU

Italians and French say in a poll they want a referendum on the EU, as British PM Cameron prepares to invoke the perils of "isolationism" and WWII in a pro-EU speech.

Britain's pro and anti-EU campaigns gear up

A 'Britain Stronger in Europe' campaign will be launched on Monday and will face two pro-Brexit groups, while PM Cameron's key demands are leaked to the press.

IMF: Brexit would cause severe damage

The International Monetary Fund warns of the consequences of a British exit from the EU. Brexit campaigners say the fund is politically motivated.

Column / Brexit Briefing

Cynical campaigns harm public trust

With a month to go before the vote, the Leave and Remain campaigns have made claims that would make the average pub bore blush.

Opinion

Catalan independence trial is widening Spain's divides

What is really needed is not the theatre of a rebellion trial, but a forensic examination of whether public funds were misused, and a process of dialogue and negotiation on how the Catalan peoples' right to self-determination can be satisfied.

Orban hosts Weber in Budapest for EPP showdown

The future of the Viktor Orban's Fidesz party inside the European Parliament's centre-right EPP political group hangs in the balance. On Tuesday, Orban and EPP chief Manfred Weber meet in Budapest in a final effort to iron out differences.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  2. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  3. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  4. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  5. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersLeading Nordic candidates go head-to-head in EU election debate
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Secretary General: Nordic co-operation must benefit everybody
  9. Platform for Peace and JusticeMEP Kati Piri: “Our red line on Turkey has been crossed”
  10. UNICEF2018 deadliest year yet for children in Syria as war enters 9th year
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic commitment to driving global gender equality
  12. International Partnership for Human RightsMeet your defender: Rasul Jafarov leading human rights defender from Azerbaijan

Latest News

  1. Romania drafts EU code on NGO migrant rescues
  2. Bulgaria, Hungary, and Malta shamed on press unfreedom
  3. EU drafts $20bn US sanctions list in aviation dispute
  4. Brunei defends stoning to death of gay men in EU letter
  5. US Democrats side with Ireland on Brexit
  6. Wifi or 5G to connect EU cars? MEPs weigh in
  7. How Brexit may harm the new EU parliament
  8. EU parliament backs whistleblower law

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNICEFUNICEF Hosts MEPs in Jordan Ahead of Brussels Conference on the Future of Syria
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic talks on parental leave at the UN
  3. International Partnership for Human RightsTrial of Chechen prisoner of conscience and human rights activist Oyub Titiev continues.
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic food policy inspires India to be a sustainable superpower
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersMilestone for Nordic-Baltic e-ID
  6. Counter BalanceEU bank urged to free itself from fossil fuels and take climate leadership
  7. Intercultural Dialogue PlatformRoundtable: Muslim Heresy and the Politics of Human Rights, Dr. Matthew J. Nelson
  8. Platform for Peace and JusticeTurkey suffering from the lack of the rule of law
  9. UNESDASoft Drinks Europe welcomes Tim Brett as its new president
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers take the lead in combatting climate change
  11. Counter BalanceEuropean Parliament takes incoherent steps on climate in future EU investments
  12. International Partnership For Human RightsKyrgyz authorities have to immediately release human rights defender Azimjon Askarov

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us