Nobel economists warn Britain of lasting damage from Brexit

Workers erect scaffolding outside the Houses of Parliament ahead of the forthcoming EU referendum in London, on June 20, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

LONDON (AFP) - Ten winners of the Nobel Prize in economics on Monday (June 20) warned that leaving the European Union would "create major uncertainty" over Britain as a trading nation and inflicting lasting economic damage.

"We believe that the UK would be better off economically inside the EU," the economists said in a letter to The Guardian newspaper.

"British firms and workers need full access to the single market. Brexit would create major uncertainty about Britain's alternative future trading arrangements, both with the rest of Europe and with important markets like the USA, Canada and China," they added.

The economists, who have all been made professor laureates for research going back to the 1970s, are George Akerlof, Kenneth Arrow, Angus Deaton, Peter Diamond, James Heckman, Eric Maskin, James Mirrlees, Christopher Pissarides, Robert Solow and Jean Tirole.

The laureates - six American, three British and one French - said the economic consequences "would persist for many years", adding "the economic arguments are clearly in favour of remaining in the EU."

Britain will go to the polls on Thursday in a referendum on its EU membership, with latest polls predicting a tight result.

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