The European Union could lose its second-largest economy if the UK decides to leave, taking a potentially major economic and political blow at a time when the EU already faces slowing economic growth and an ongoing refugee crisis.
The UK is scheduled to hold a referendum on June 23 asking voters whether they want Britain to remain a part of the to the 28-nation economic bloc. If there is a vote in favor of the so-called Brexit, the EU would lose about $3 trillion in GDP. The move would also be unprecedented, since no country has left the EU.
"There would be a very big impact," said Mark Fleming-Williams, economic analyst at Stratfor Global Intelligence, a geopolitical advisory firm. "We've seen the markets' fear come down on the pound. Sterling has been dropping significantly in the last month. I think as the vote gets closer, it will probably extend to the euro."