Monday

9th Dec 2019

Tusk and Juncker: Brexit could be 'end of West'

  • "Brexit could be the beginning of the destruction not only of the EU but also of the whole Western political civilisation," said Tusk (l, with Juncker and Cameron) (Photo: Reuters)

Ten days before the EU referendum in the UK, leaders of the European Council and Commission have suggested Brexit would destroy Western political civilisation.

In an interview with Germany's Bild newspaper published on Monday (13 June), the council president Donald Tusk said that a British exit from the EU would have "long term consequences that nobody can foresee".

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 30-day free trial.

... or join as a group

"Brexit could be the beginning of the destruction not only of the EU but also of the whole Western political civilisation," he said, adding that he was speaking "as an historian".

He said that "all radical anti-Europeans in EU member states would rejoice" and also that "external enemies would drink champagne".

But he said he was sure that the EU would "survive, even if the price would be high".

The civilisational warning is not just Tusk's personal opinion.

A European Commission spokeswoman told press in Brussels on Monday that the commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker, and Tusk "meet regularly" and have "discussed the matter several times".

"Therefore president Juncker conveyed exactly the same message in his own words, for example on 12 May in Berlin”, she said.

Speaking at a forum organised by a German radio broadcaster, West Deutscher Rundfunk, Juncker said that a Brexit would create "manifold problems".

Asked at that the time if it would be a catastrophe, he answered: "Yes."

Tusk: Brexit talks could take seven years

Council chief warned UK could face long divorce from EU, as it could take up to seven years before the new relationship with Britain would be approved by other member states.

G7 warns Brexit could hurt global growth

G7 leaders in Japan warned that the UK leaving the European Union is a "serious threat" to global economic growth, as EU leaders draw up plans in case British voters choose to leave the bloc.

Britain heading for EU exit, polls say

As polls suggest new momentum for Leave camp, the Bank of England is getting ready for the potential financial repercussions of Brexit.

News in Brief

  1. Greece denies access to fair asylum process, report says
  2. Report: Self-regulation of social media 'not working'
  3. Turkey: Greek expulsion of Libyan envoy 'outrageous'
  4. Merkel coalition may survive, says new SPD co-leader
  5. Von der Leyen Ethiopia visit a 'political statement'
  6. Over 5,500 scientists ask EU to protect freshwater life
  7. Iran defies EU and UN on ballistic missiles
  8. Committee of the Regions: bigger budget for Green Deal

Wilmès becomes first female PM of Belgium

On Sunday, Sophie Wilmès was appointed as the new prime minister of Belgium - becoming the first female head of government in the country's history. She replaces Charles Michel who becomes president of the European Council.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of Ministers40 years of experience have proven its point: Sustainable financing actually works
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Baltic ministers paving the way for 5G in the region
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersEarmarked paternity leave – an effective way to change norms
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Climate Action Weeks in December
  5. UNESDAUNESDA welcomes Nicholas Hodac as new Director General
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersBrussels welcomes Nordic culture

Latest News

  1. Russia makes big promises to Arctic peoples on expansion
  2. UK election plus EU summit in focus This WEEK
  3. Migrants paying to get detained in Libyan centres
  4. Searching for solidarity in EU asylum policy
  5. Will Michel lead on lobbying transparency at Council?
  6. Blood from stone: What did British PR firm do for Malta?
  7. EU Commission defends Eurobarometer methodology
  8. Timmermans warns on cost of inaction on climate

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us