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Published: Tuesday April 1, 2014 MYT 1:10:03 AM
Updated: Tuesday April 1, 2014 MYT 1:11:14 AM

French minister says Britain out of EU would no longer be 'Great'

BERLIN (Reuters) - French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on Monday that if the British decided to leave the European Union, their country would no longer warrant the name "Great Britain".

Fabius, asked at a conference in Berlin with his colleagues from German and Poland if he thought Britain would still be a full member of the EU in five years' time, replied: "If it is not, it will not be Great Britain but Small Britain."

Prime Minister David Cameron has promised to give Britons an referendum on EU membership if re-elected in 2015, in an effort to appease Eurosceptics in his Conservative Party.

Core member states such as France and Germany have warned Britain that it would lose global influence outside the 28-country bloc.

Officially, Great Britain refers to England, Scotland and Wales. The sovereign state is properly named the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

(Reporting by Stephen Brown; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

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