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Leaving EU will be ‘irreversible’: UK foreign secretary

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond (AFP photo)

Britain’s possible exit from the European Union (EU) would be an "irreversible" decision, British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has warned, days before the so-called Brexit option is put up for vote.

“The message we are trying to get across to the British people is that this is an irreversible decision -- if they decide to leave, there will be no going back,” Hammond said upon arrival in Luxembourg for a meeting with his EU counterparts.

The foreign minister warned that in the event of a Brexit, London could only rejoin the bloc on what would be unacceptable terms.

“Britain could never rejoin the EU at a later date except on terms that would be unacceptable -- membership of the euro, membership of [the] Schengen [passport-free zone] and so on,” he said.

Britons are set to decide their country’s future in the EU via a referendum on Thursday.

The majority of recent opinion polls suggest that the Remain camp is recovering its lead over the Leave, after a weak showing over the past two weeks.

"The referendum battle... is close fought,” Hammond said. “It will be a very tight result either way.”

According to the Daily Mail, the pro-EU campaign managed to open up a three-point lead following the fatal attack on Labour MP and Remain campaigner Jo Cox who was killed on Thursday.

Hammond’s warnings were echoed by UK Prime Minister David Cameron who warned in an article on Sunday that leaving the EU would bring about abject "humiliation" for Britain.

British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne has also warned of an “austerity budget” in case the country leaves the 28-member bloc, further furling the government’s push against the Brexit.

The Vote Leave campaign, however, believe leaving the EU would allow Britain to take back control over major issues like immigration while paving the way for thousands of new job opportunities.

Boris Johnson, the former London mayor and a lead campaigner for the Brexit, says the upcoming vote is a great chance for Britain “to take back control of all sorts of aspects of our lives.”

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