Cyprus Mail

EU chiefs to meet June 24 after Brexit vote, Lagarde wishes Brits ‘bon courage’

International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde

The heads of the three main political institutions of the European Union will meet in Brussels next Friday, June 24, when the result of Britain’s referendum on whether to leave the bloc will be known.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, the EU chief executive, would host a meeting with European Council President Donald Tusk, who chairs summits of EU leaders, and European Parliament President Martin Schulz, a Commission spokesman told a news briefing on Friday.

Also attending would be Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, whose government holds the chair of EU ministerial councils.

The spokesman gave no details but EU officials have said previously that such a meeting was planned to take stock of the result of the June 23 referendum and prepare a common response to it.

IMF chief Christine Lagarde urged British voters on Friday to have the “courage” to vote the right way in next week’s referendum on whether to leave the European Union.

Without explicitly urging Britons to vote “Remain”, she said there was a clear case by most economists against Brexit.

“It has been said that ‘it takes great courage to see the world in all its tainted glory, and still to love it.’ So I wish bon courage to our fellow Europeans from the United Kingdom!” Lagarde said in a speech in Vienna.

The International Monetary Fund delayed a report on Britain’s economy, due on Thursday, for 24 hours due to the murder of Labour member of parliament and “Remain” campaigner Jo Cox. Referendum campaigning in Britain remains suspended.

Lagarde said the IMF was “neutral” in Britain’s highly charged political debate, but that the facts spoke for themselves.

“I certainly hope that from our neutral position we can at least shed some light on the economic value of one choice or the other,” Lagarde said, adding that most British people had benefited from EU membership.

“We have reached our determination and certainly concluded that the economic risks of leaving are firmly to the downside,” she said, later declining to elaborate in a panel discussion with Austrian Finance Minister Hans Joerg Schelling.

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