Well, discouraging the others is what it’s all about, isn’t it?
The reaction from the Neolibs in Brussels and specifically the Germans is so far a pretty straight up prostate check which is all well and good since that’s what they got from Britain but is fundamentally misguided because the European Union needs Britain a whole lot more than Britain needs the EU.
How so? Glad you asked. Second largest economy, plenty of markets, a Commonwealth of Nations with a ‘special’ relationship, (ok, Brits are idiots who drive on the wrong side of the road and they call French Fries ‘Chips’ and Chips ‘Crisps’ but at least they speak some bastard variant of english and I can’t be bothered to learn an actual foreign language because I’m ‘murikan damn it) and like the biggest army in Europe (after Russia and France and ‘murika because we are just so exceptional we outnumber everybody everywhere all put together).
Anyway, they’re really quite self sufficient which they proved in spades from June 18th 1940 to the 7th of May 1945.
Pain? Probably not 10,000 pounds of high explosive worth but I’m sure there will be some (ok, I am fact checked by people who point out that you are quite completely reduced to a puddle of red goo by even a few ounces of HE and during that millisecond can hardly be described as experiencing any pain at all, but it’s a metaphor).
On the other hand for the European Union the downside is drastically different.
Spain votes this week for a new government and has an active Leftist Party and 2 Seperatist movements. France and Italy are not happy campers and they all poll solidly majority exit. Outside of Germany these are the 3 largest economies left in the EU and if they leave then what?
They talk tough but they don’t have a leg to stand on. Merkel at least shows some signs of recognizing this, Juncker, Tusk, and Schäuble are unrepentant. Too bad for them, the DAX is taking a bigger bath than the FTSE.