The head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned that the IMF cannot "see anything positive in a vote for the U.K. to exit the EU," and that a Brexit vote — Britain exiting the European Union (EU) — could cause a sharp drop in investments.
Christine Lagarde, speaking at the Treasury in London on Friday after a meeting with U.K. Chancellor George Osborne, said a vote to leave the EU would "precipitate a protracted period of heightened uncertainty." Lagarde's remarks coincided with the release of an IMF report by a team of economists assessing the state of the UK economy.
Lagarde was careful to state that the IMF was not making a statement on political grounds, but rather had consulted with a wide range of IMF economists and had not heard a single view that a Brexit outcome would be positive for the UK.
The Brexit vote would be "costly in the long run even after uncertainty has been resolved," said Lagarde, adding the hit to the U.K. would range from "pretty bad to very, very bad."