LONDON (AFP) - The European Union would be "less stable" if Britain votes to leave, in a referendum on membership in June, Germany's finance minister told a British business conference on Thursday.
"If the UK would not be engaged in the European Union, I think UK would take the risk that continental Europe would be less stable, more volatile," Wolfgang Schaeuble said.
When asked what Germany would do if Britain voted to leave the EU in a referendum on June 23, Schaeuble added: "We would cry... and I hope that we will not."
Schaeuble was speaking alongside his British counterpart George Osborne at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) annual conference in London.
Osborne criticised the "confusion heaped on confusion" by those in favour of leaving the EU about what Britain's status would be if it did pull out of the 28-nation bloc.
"If we were to leave the EU, over 50 of our trade deals with other countries in the world would automatically fall because they are trade deals with the EU," he said.
Osborne also warned against the argument that if Britain were to leave the EU, it would be able to retain a special status on trade.
He said there was a risk it could have "the worst of both worlds" by having to pay into the EU budget without having a say in setting the rules.