The possibility of Britain’s exit from the European Union has made other nations comprising the EU look at the unfolding events with anguish, trepidation and disbelief. In case British voters do vote for an exit in the referendum, there is more than a possibility of the other EU nations retaliating so that any other member with a latent wish for exit may be sufficiently deterred to do so. The intention is to make sure that Britain suffers for its exit decision.
Officials in the EU have valid reasons for being afraid. If indeed Britain exits, then two Eurozone countries may follow through. One is Ireland, a country whose economy is meshed with Britain, and Portugal, whose troubled banking system depends heavily on cheap loans taken from European Central Bank. These loans could be stopped if the last of important credit rating firms pushed the sovereign rating of Portugal to junk status. It is expected that the ECB will release a statement which will calm such nervous temperaments if the results of the UK referendum shows Britain exiting the European Union.
EU countries face a number of issues, like the migrant crisis, terrorism and the Greek debt. The biggest and the powerful nations will seek clarity and unlikely to tolerate an extended period of the post referendum confusion. Wolfgang Schauble, the German finance minister, said that he hopes that Britain will vote against the exit- and added that a British exit means Europe will suffer heavily. Similar views were expressed by Donald Tusk, the European Council President. He expressed strong woes about the Brexit to a German media house and said that all the EU members will suffer, and there is a chance of destroying the peace prevailing in post war Europe.
Tusk said that as a historian, he fears that Brexit may destroy the Western political civilization and there could be extended consequences as well. He warned that Britain could suffer a minimum of seven years of pain during the negotiation of new relationship with EU.
A number of emergency meetings will probably take place over the coming days in Brussels if Britain actually takes the decision to exit. The meeting will be attended by the 28 heads of state and an equal number of European commissioners comprising the remaining European Union member countries. A senior EU official has said that the EU wants to avoid the chance of markets speculation concerning a domino effect.