Mon, Jun 20, 2016 - Page 6 News List

Brexit could start eastern domino effect: Asselborn

Reuters, BERLIN

A British departure from the EU could trigger similar moves by other member states in eastern Europe, Luxembourgian Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Jean Asselborn said in a German newspaper interview published yesterday.

Britain votes on Thursday on whether to stay in the 28-member bloc, a choice with far-reaching consequences for politics, the economy, defense and diplomacy on the continent.

“It cannot be ruled out that Brexit leads to a domino effect in eastern Europe,” Asselborn told German newspaper Tagesspiegel am Sonntag.

It had been a “historic mistake” from British Prime Minister David Cameron to even think about calling a referendum about Britain’s membership in the EU, Asselborn added.

Even if Britain should decide to stay in the EU, “this would not solve the problem that results from the negative attitude of the British towards the European Union,” Asselborn said.

Asselborn said that he sometimes had the impression that Cameron and the head of Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, had a silent agreement on rolling back European integration.

“Both seem do have the same agenda regarding their critical stance towards the EU,” Asselborn added.

Since winning elections last year, Poland’s conservative and euroskeptic government has clashed with EU regulators on a range of issues, including freedom of speech and democracy, as well as energy and environmental issues.

Poland is the biggest economy in the EU’s eastern wing and the largest recipient of structural funds in the bloc.

Britain, on the other hand, is transferring more money to Brussels than it is getting back, which is one of the arguments of the Leave camp to vote for Brexit.

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