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Brexit lite could save Britain from recession, Chase's chief economist says

Britain is "in trouble" and at risk of heading into a recession unless something is done to soften its exit from the European Union, Chase chief economist Anthony Chan said Monday.

That softened exit could be some type of "Brexit-lite" strategy that would still allow the U.K. access to the EU single market, he said.

"That might be the saving grace for the U.K.," Chan told CNBC's "Closing Bell."

"If they don't get something like that it's going to be awfully close, almost a photo finish, whether they have a recession or no growth in the next 12 months."

The British government needs to negotiate a new relationship with the EU once London triggers Article 50, the formal start of divorce talks, which could take a year or longer.

Meanwhile, in the United States, Chan is keeping an eye on earnings, which he said will impact job growth.

"When corporations are making more money, they're obviously in a better mood to hire people," he said.

With the kind of weak earnings out right now, the U.S. would be averaging about 55,000 nonfarm payroll jobs a month, Chan noted.

However, the good news is that earnings are going to go through an inflection point.

"By the end of the year, we're going to move back into positive territory, which is great news, because otherwise at some point we would see employment taking a little bit of a hit," he said.

— Reuters contributed to this report.