Brexit would be bad for business

A British referendum in favour of leaving the European Union would damage the country's business prospects, Lloyd's of London Chief Executive Inga Beale said in Luxembourg on Wednesday.

Prime Minister David Cameron has pledged to renegotiate Britain's ties with Europe and then give voters a referendum on European Union membership by the end of 2017, though expectations are growing that it will take place next year.

"We believe it would be bad for business. We think that open trade and being part of a bigger community is very important," Beale said in response to a question at the annual meeting of trade body Insurance Europe.

Speaking with a stronger European voice was important as countries such as China and India become ever more powerful, Beale said.

 "I would wholeheartedly welcome a stronger Europe, rather than countries becoming smaller and less important in the world on their own," she said.

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