A UK exit from the European Union could cause “severe regional and global damage”, the International Monetary Fund has warned.

In its latest outlook report, the IMF said that the referendum planned for the 23 June had already caused major uncertainty for investors, and a vote to leave would likely heighten the concern.

A “Brexit” would disrupt trading relationships and cause “major challenges” for both the UK and the rest of Europe, with effects of the change felt across the globe.

If the UK voted to leave, the IMF said it would expect post-exit trade negotiations to be protracted, which would cause continued market volatility as the UK attempts to find agreement with its trading partners with Europe and beyond.

The IMF also cut its UK growth forecast from 2.2% to 1.9% for the current year.

Previously, the CBI waned that a Brexit could cost the UK economy £100bn and nearly a million jobs, while credit rating agency Moody’s said the impact would be “small”.

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