A British exit from the European Union would be poison for the economies in Europe and there would only be losers if Britain decided to leave the 28-bloc this week, the head of Germany's BGA trade federation said on Monday.
"A Brexit would lead to uncertainty and a loss of trust over several years. This is poison for the economy in Britain, but also for Europe as a whole," Anton Boerner said during a news conference.
"Nobody will benefit from an exit. On the contrary, it would be a catastrophe for everybody and especially for us in Germany. There will be no winners, but only losers."
He said Brexit would create huge uncertainty for companies, adding that negotiations between Brussels and London on their future relationship would take at least two years.
The result could be higher trade tariffs, new rules for market access and more bureaucracy for firms, he warned.
A British exit from the European Union would likely lead to higher trade tariffs, reducing German exports and knocking half a percentage point off growth in Europe's biggest economy next year, the DIW economic institute said last week.
Under a worst-case scenario, Brexit could shave up to 3 percent off Germany's long-term expansion, according to an estimate by the Ifo institute.