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British PM says Brexit poses 'huge risk' to economy

2 min

London (AFP)

British Prime Minister David Cameron warned Tuesday that a vote to leave the EU in less than 48 hours would damage the economy, representing a "huge risk" for jobs and families.

In an impassioned plea ahead of Thursday's ballot, Cameron asked Britons to think of future generations left to cope in a Britain outside the European Union if the Brexit camp wins.

"Above all, it is about our economy," the prime minister said outside his official residence in London's Downing Street.

"It will be stronger if we stay. It will be weaker if we leave. And that is a huge risk to Britain, to British families, to British jobs," the prime minister said.

Britain, the world's fifth-biggest economy, would be the first state to leave the EU since the bloc's founding 60 years ago if the "Leave" camp wins in Thursday's vote.

"Europe is not perfect," the British leader conceded.

"Do think about the hopes and dreams of your children and your grandchildren," he added. "If we vote out, that is it. It is irreversible. We will leave Europe for good and the next generation will have to live with the consequences."

The British leader tried to stir up nationalist pride in favour of sticking with Brussels.

"We are not any old country. We are a special country, one whose language and values, whose influence is felt the world over," Cameron said. "If I felt remaining in the EU diminished us, I would recommend voting to leave. But it does not. It amplifies our power."

In polls released overnight, two placed the "Remain" side narrowly ahead while a third indicated the "Leave" camp could prevail.

An average of the last six opinion polls compiled by the WhatUKThinks website has the two camps at 50 percent each.

But the websites of six major bookmakers showed the odds heavily pointing to a "Remain" vote, with the chances of Britain staying in put at nearly 80 percent.

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