European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker says Brexit would have ‘unforeseeable consequences’

British Prime Minister David Cameron makes a statement to the media outside 10 Downing Street in London on February 20 , 2016 regarding the upcoming referendum on whether to stay in the EU (AFP / JUSTIN TALLIS)
British Prime Minister David Cameron makes a statement to the media outside 10 Downing Street in London on February 20 , 2016 regarding the upcoming referendum on whether to stay in the EU (AFP / JUSTIN TALLIS)


In a speech on Monday against a British exit from the EU, UK Prime Minister David Cameron will warn of isolationism and a potential world war, invoking Winston Churchill in his arguments against the move.

Cameron will argue that “isolationism has never served this country well,” and that the European Union has helped bring countries together, the British papers reported overnight Sunday-Monday.

The Daily Mail reported that Cameron will go as far as warning of “genocide” if Britain leaves and will invoke Churchill, World War II and the “graves of the fallen” in his speech.

“Whenever we turn our back on Europe, sooner or later we come to regret it. We have always had to go back in, and always at much higher cost,” Cameron will say, according to the Mail.

In other excerpts of the speech obtained by the paper, Cameron will say: “The serried rows of white headstones in Commonwealth war cemeteries stand as silent testament to the price this country has paid to help restore peace and order in Europe’.

“Can we be so sure that peace and stability on our continent are assured beyond any shadow of doubt? Is that a risk worth taking? I would never be so rash as to make that assumption. It’s barely been 20 years since war in the Balkans and genocide in Srebrenica.”

“Britain has a fundamental national interest in maintaining common purpose in Europe to avoid future conflict between European countries. And that requires British leadership, and for Britain to remain a member,” Cameron will claim.

“Our country’s heroism in the Great War. And most of all our lone stand in 1940, when Britain stood as a bulwark against a new dark age of tyranny and oppression,” the PM will argue. “But it wasn’t through choice that we were alone. Churchill never wanted that. He spent the months before the Battle of Britain began trying to keep our French allies in the war, and then after France fell, he spent the next 18 months persuading the United States to come to our aid. And in the post-war period he argued passionately for Western Europe to come together, to promote free trade, and to build institutions which would endure so that our continent would never again see such bloodshed.”

“The truth is this: what happens in our neighborhood matters to Britain. Either we influence Europe, or it influences us. And if things go wrong in Europe, let’s not pretend we can be immune from the consequences.”

Britain is to hold a closely-watched June 23 referendum on whether or not it should stay in the 28-nation bloc, and opinion polls are showing that the nation is still largely undecided on the issue.

European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker said Sunday that a British exit from the EU would have “unforeseeable consequences,” in an interview with German media.

In an interview with the Funke Mediengruppe press group to be published Monday, Juncker warned that a so-called “Brexit” would “surely have unforeseeable consequences on European cooperation, about which I absolutely do not wish to speculate about because I am convinced that Britons will make the reasonable decision.”

“All Europeans want Britain to remain in the family,” he said, recalling that the EU had struck a “fair deal” with Britain in February on reforms aimed at keeping it in the bloc.

Britain first joined the then European Economic Community (EEC) in 1973, and in a referendum two years later the public backed membership by just over 67 percent.

But the country has had a strained relationship with Brussels, opting out of key projects including the euro and the Schengen passport-free zone.

The EU this week cut its eurozone growth forecasts for the year, listing the danger of Britain leaving the bloc as among the risk factors weighing on the economic recovery.

The International Monetary Fund and the G20 group of the world’s leading economies have also warned of the economic dangers of Britain leaving the EU, while the OECD last month said there was “no upside” to a Brexit.

Even the United States has weighed in, with President Barack Obama saying last month that EU membership magnified Britain’s global influence. He also warned that if Britain did leave and wanted to sign a separate trade deal with the US it would go to the “back of the queue”.

As reported by The Times of Israel