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  • British Prime Minister David Cameron and  World Bank President Jim Yong Kim (L) at the G7 summit meeting in Ise Shima, Japan May 27, 2016.

    British Prime Minister David Cameron and World Bank President Jim Yong Kim (L) at the G7 summit meeting in Ise Shima, Japan May 27, 2016. | Photo: Reuters

G7 leaders spoke of their concern regarding Brexit, even though it was not a formally on the agenda at the summit

A British exit from the European Union would be a serious risk to global economic growth, Group of Seven leaders said in a summit declaration on Friday in Japan, it comes as the U.K. prepares for a referendum on the issue in less than a month.

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The statement will be welcomed by British Prime Minister David Cameron and his party, who recently have made a number of warnings about the domestic cost of Britain leaving the EU at the June 23 referendum.

"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," G7 leaders said, in the only reference to the vote, which was not a formal issue on the agenda.

Brexit was listed alongside geopolitical conflicts, terrorism and refugee flows as a potential shock of a "non-economic origin."

German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters  that leaders had not discussed Brexit, “but there was the signal that all who sat here want Britain to stay part of the EU."

Opinion polls have given conflicting information on which way the Brexit vote will go, with telephone polls suggesting "In" is comfortably ahead while online polls suggest a tight race that "Out" could win. Betting odds heavily favor an "In" vote.

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The G7 statement follows comments from the International Monetary Fund that there were no economic positives to Britain leaving the EU, while the Bank of England has said the economy would slow sharply, and possibly even enter a brief recession.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has also warned that British voters risk paying a "Brexit tax" equivalent to a month's salary by 2020 if they leave the EU.

Last week, G7 finance leaders united in wishing Britain stayed in the EU, but acknowledged they could do little more than hope.

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