Brexit would be the best outcome for all parties in the long run, according to a Belgian professor who heads up the European Institute at the London School of Economics (LSE).
Professor Paul De Grauwe (right) told ‘Terzake’— the evening news show on the Flemish public-broadcaster VRT — Eurosceptic sentiment in the UK favouring Brexit is very strong, and it would not disappear merely because British voters elect to stay in the European Union (EU) at the referendum. He said:
“There is a lot of hatred against Europe. The media and a major part of the political elite dislike the European Union. This will not disappear after the referendum.”
According to Flanders News, Professor De Grauwe has been living and working in the UK for four years. As head of the LSE’s European Institute — a centre dedicated to the interdisciplinary study integration and fragmentation in Europe — he represents an authoritative voice on the European question.
Acknowledging that the goal of Eurosceptics “is to bring as much sovereignty back from Brussels to London as possible” he said it would not be a good thing if the UK chooses to remain in the EU. He explained:
“The anti-Europeans will just continue their strategy. They will block all efforts to integrate further, and they will try to have powers devolved to Westminster again. This is not in the EU’s interests. That is why it’s probably better for the EU that the British leave.”
Although he first told VRT Brexit would “probably not” benefit the UK, he went on to concede that any problems would be short-lived, saying:
“Britain will have to negotiate a new trade deal with the EU in the short term. There may a problem, but only during a period of transition.”
Professor Paul De Grauwe concluded that Brexit would be the lesser of two evils, because the alternative would see the UK being a kind of Trojan Horse within the EU.