Analysts rule out more near-term EU exits
After Brexit, remaining EU states will watch economic consequences for UK, experts say
Analysts have told Anadolu Agency that despite the June 23 Brexit referendum result, there will be no more departures from the European Union – for now.
However, experts are warning that the vote by the U.K. electorate has pushed the EU into a period of profound uncertainty.
Florian Hense, an economist with Berenberg Bank told Anadolu Agency on Sunday: “The U.K. vote to leave pushes the EU into a serious identity crisis.
“This will embolden all those who call for copycat referenda on EU or euro membership. Our best guess remains that no other country will follow suit and leave the EU in the near future.”
Analysts said other countries in the bloc – such as France, Poland, Hungary and the Netherlands – could all follow Britain out of the European Union but not in the near future because there are just too many economic advantages in maintaining EU membership.
Although Hense says the bloc and its currency are less popular than they used to be after the June 23 Brexit vote, he says that Berenberg expects the major European countries to come through the 2017-19 election cycle without anti-euro or anti-EU forces taking power.
The eventual departure of the EU's second-largest economy means that the bloc is going to lose one of its largest and wealthiest members.
Britain is the world's fifth-largest economy based on 2015 World Bank figures for total GDP.
Nevertheless, ING Chief Eurozone Economist Peter Vanden Houte points to Eurosceptic parties in key states – such as the Netherlands where the populist Freedom Party of Geert Wilders is advocating a ‘Nexit’ referendum.
“The same story is in France where Marine Le Pen of the Front National asks for a referendum. However, these parties certainly don’t constitute a majority of the population,” he adds.
Timo Klein, an economist at IHS Economics in Frankfurt, says although “the U.K. was always particularly skeptical about ‘Europe’” he does not see Eurosceptic parties taking the lead, as in Britain.
“Of course there are minorities who would also wish to separate from the EU, but they are very unlikely to turn into majorities and/or to dominate government opinion (as was the case with the British Conservatives),” Klein says.
Klein also says that even nationalistic governments, such as in Poland or Hungary, would “never” want to leave the EU.
Arguing that there are just too many economic advantages in belonging to the club, Klein said that in the coming weeks and months, it will become ever clearer how big the economic damage to the U.K. will be.
“It will be understood better how unattractive [it will be] for any EU member to leave the union in the future,” Klein adds.