Britain's Treasury chief has acknowledged that the country may lose its triple A credit rating even though his economic strategy remains centered on getting the public finances under control.
George Osborne said Thursday that a downgrade "wouldn't be a good thing" but that it was only one way that investors evaluate countries.
Osborne's comments come in the wake of Fitch Ratings' warning that Britain's debt levels for 2015-16 announced were "approaching the upper limit of the level consistent with the U.K. retaining its AAA status."
Fitch placed Britain's rating on negative outlook in March, and will conduct a review next year.
Rivals Moody's put the AAA rating on negative watch in February while Standard & Poor's has been more optimistic, affirming the top rating in April with a stable outlook.