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DARTFORD, England (Reuters) - London Mayor Boris Johnson, who opposes British membership of the European Union, said on Friday that sterling would benefit if Britain voted to leave the bloc in a June 23 referendum.
Sterling fell more than five cents against the U.S. dollar in the week following Johnson's Feb. 21 announcement that he was opposing Prime Minister David Cameron and would campaign to leave the European Union.
Speaking at an "Out" campaign event, Johnson said sterling would continue to fluctuate but that if Britain left the EU the economy would be freed from EU regulation and the pound would ultimately benefit.
"Sterling and euro will continue to fluctuate as they always have done but sterling will reflect the long term health and strength of the UK economy and trade flows and investment flows and people's willingness to buy UK products and invest in the UK," Johnson said.
"The more we can get rid of the regulation, the red tape, the cost of the EU, the better we'll do and the more we'll thrive and the more robust our currency will be," he said in Dartford, southeast England.
Cameron said on Thursday that Britain's $2.9 trillion (£2.02 trillion) economy would face a shock that would pile pressure onto the pound if voters opted to leave the EU.
Reporting by William James, writing by Guy Faulconbridge; editing by Stephen Addison