Brussels crisis: EU officials fear Brexit could inspire ‘widespread’ eurozone exodus

Brexit: Mike Graham asks whether more in EU will ‘follow suit’

The European Union fears that Britain’s departure from the bloc could prompt other countries to quit the euro area. There are fears that countries like Italy, Greece and Spain will quit the single currency, which has been “extraordinarily destructive” to their economies. Political commentator Helen Dale told Mike Graham that there is a movement towards “a gradual withdrawal from the euro” within the EU.

TalkRADIO host Mike Graham asked Ms Dale whether the UK leaving the EU will result in others “following suit”.

He said: “The EU wanted to make it so difficult for the UK to leave that no-one else would want to.

“There are other countries in Europe who have got no great loyalty to the EU, and having seen Britain leave might have decided to follow suit.”

Ms Dale suggested that some Scandinavian countries may choose to follow the UK out of Brussels’ grip.

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The political expert explained: “I don’t think there will be a desire to leave the European Union.

“Maybe a couple of the Scandinavian countries, the Swedes or something like that will do so.”

However, she added that while most EU nations may wish to remain in the bloc, there is momentum building to leave the eurozone.

Ms Dale explained: “What is more widespread in Europe is a dislike of the euro. 

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“More than the EU itself breaking up I think you’re much more likely to see a gradual withdrawal from the euro by some countries because it really is extraordinarily destructive of their economies.

“Particularly countries like Greece, Italy and Spain. It has destroyed their economies.

“The EU is not what economists call an optimal currency area. Basically, it is too divergent in terms of labour costs and investment. It doesn’t have market discipline.”

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Speaking to the Express.co.uk, Bruges Group Director Robert Oulds suggested that Italy may be the country that follows the footsteps of Britain and opts-out of the EU.

He argued the EU was struggling to satisfy its remaining members, most notably on its handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr Oulds said: “As soon as there is a process in the European Union saying we want some powers back, that will create a tidal wave of reform.

“Ultimately, Brexit will lead to the breakup of the European Union. “In the first instance the EU will hope they can double down and they can pressure member states.

“However, Britain has shown it can actually get a trade deal with the EU and thrive outside of Brussels’ orbit.

“We will see countries realise they are better off outside of the EU just like Britain is.”

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