A Brexit would fuel radical euroscepticism within the European Union and represent a major win for the bloc's external enemies, EU President Donald Tusk said Monday in an interview released by Germany's highest-circulation newspaper Bild.
"Politically, it would encourage all radical anti-Europeans from the inside of numerous member states," Tusk said in the interview, published 10 days ahead of a critical vote by the British public on whether to leave the EU.
"Moreover, the day the Brits would leave the EU, our external enemies will open a bottle of champagne - we should do everything to spoil that party," he said.
According to Tusk, a so-called Brexit - or British exit, following Britain's planned in-out referendum on its EU membership on June 23 - would bring about a number of unforeseen consequences.
Not only would all treaty obligations with Britain have to be cancelled, but the 27 remaining member states would also have to agree on a new settlement - a process that could take five years and the outcome of which cannot be guaranteed.
Tusk further predicted that Britain's secession from the EU "could in fact be the start of the process of destruction of not only the EU but also of the Western political civilization."
Survey results released last week show that 55 per cent of the British electorate are planning to vote to leave the EU in the upcoming referendum. This marks a significant rise in support for Brexit.