Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne leaves number 11 Downing Street in London, Britain March 22, 2016. REUTERS/Eddie Keog
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Britain's current account deficit has surged to a record high, underscoring a weak spot in an economy that is coming under sharper focus before a vote on whether to remain in the European Union.Finance Minister George Osborne said the widening of the deficit to a record 7.0 percent of gross domestic product – up from 4.3 percent of GDP in the third quarter – underscored the importance of Britain voting to remain in the EU on June 23 .Campaigners for Brexit, as leaving the EU is called, said Thursday's data showed Britain would flourish on its own because it would no longer have to fund the EU's budget and the scale of its trade gap – a big part of the current account deficit – meant other EU countries would be keen to do a deal to keep their exports flowing.Britain's economy grew by a quarterly 0.6 percent in the October-December period, higher than a previous estimate of 0.5 percent, helped by the huge services sector.
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