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EU President: Brexit Could Destroy Western Civilization

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Guy Bentley Research Associate, Reason Foundation

Western civilization could come crashing down if the United Kingdom votes for Brexit June 23, according to top European Union politician.

European Council President Donald Tusk warned Brits Monday voting to leave the EU would be a disaster for the European continent and the Western world more broadly.

“Why is it so dangerous? Because no one can foresee what the long-term consequences would be,” Tusk said. “As a historian, I fear that Brexit could be the beginning of the destruction of not only the EU but also of western political civilization in its entirety.”

The remarks are just the latest addition to what has been dubbed “project fear” in the British press. The U.K. government, the official opposition and a host of international financial bodies have made public interventions telling Brits they would be poorer and less influential if they left the EU.

“Every family knows that a divorce is traumatic for everyone. Everyone in the EU, but especially the Brits themselves, would lose out economically,” said Tusk.

But the consensus is far from settled on the what the consequences of Brexit would be. A vote for Brexit is highly unlikely to result in a financial crisis and could actually have some benefits, according to liberal economist and Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman.

Writing in his New York Times column, Krugman came down on the side of keeping Britain in the EU, but was deeply skeptical of the scare stories of financial catastrophe in the event of Brexit. (RELATED: How Low Millennial Turnout Could Swing UK Vote To Brexit)

“I would greatly discount claims about dramatic financial crisis or whatever. Maybe the pound would fall – but for a country that borrows in its own currency and has an excessive current account deficit, that’s a good thing,” said Krugman.

Brexit could also have a dramatically different effect on various income groups. “The City and those whose incomes are tied to its fortunes would probably lose badly, but some regions of the country might actually benefit from a weaker pound,” wrote Krugman.

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