As decision day in the United Kingdom nears over whether to remain in the European Union, former U.K. Parliament Member John Browne is weighing in on reports that the country’s leanings are too close to call right now.
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“It shows you how desperately split Britain is, both within the political parties and on the street. And the reason is because the government will not ever tell the truth about the European Union. They didn’t even when I was a member of Parliament, they tried to disguise it all the time,” Browne told the FOX Business Network’s Sandra Smith.
Browne predicted the economic fallout of a British exit from the EU would be minimal.
“Very little, because the European Union needs Great Britain far more than vice versa. And therefore, there will be a large effort by the European Union and the World Trade Organization to heal any damage.”
Browne sees a potential exit from the EU as benefiting British trade.
“The European Union doesn’t even have a trade treaty with China or Japan and it restricts Britain. So Britain will be free to trade worldwide and it will be greatly beneficial economically and of course politically.”
If the U.K. does leave the EU, Browne sees the transition and negotiation of new trade deals as taking place over a matter of weeks or days, not the two to three years often cited by politicians.
“They can’t afford Britain to leave without any new treaties. We’ll still be trading with Germany. We’re the second largest export market for Germany, so Germany will be anxious to trade with Britain. This will be done in a few weeks, if not in certain cases, days. For example, landing rights for airplanes will happen within days. This is just a scare tactic.”
Browne reacted to President Obama’s response to Britain’s potential exit from the EU.
“Well he [President Obama] is a part of the globalist elite, he’s socialist, and therefore he’s in favor of the socialist European Union and the first great experiment in the global government.”
Browne then raised concerns that remaining in the EU could potentially damage the U.K.’s relationship with the U.S.
We’re the most fervent ally of the United States and that special relationship will be broken if we stay in the European Union as will our giving up of our nuclear deterrent and our permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council.”
An earlier version of this article incorrectly identified John Browne as Lord John Browne.