In Depth

Will the European Union collapse in the wake of Brexit?

EC president Donald Tusk appeals for calm as calls grow for referendums in other member states

As the world digests the news that the UK voted by 52 per cent to 48 per cent to leave the European Union, attention is turning to what this means for the future of the bloc itself.

European leaders have long feared a domino effect could be set into motion, with the citizens of other member states demanding their own referendums.

Can the EU survive this setback?

Ukip leader Nigel Farage says he hopes the outcome will bring down the EU.

"I hope this victory brings down this failed project and leads us to a Europe of sovereign nations, trading together, being friends together, co-operating together. And let's get rid of the flag, the anthem, Brussels and all that has gone wrong," he told supporters, shortly before dawn today.

Others have also predicted Brexit would call time on the bloc. Earlier this month, billionaire investor George Soros said a Leave vote would make the break-up of the EU "almost certain".

He added: "If Britain leaves, it could unleash a general exodus and the disintegration of the European Union will become practically unavoidable."

Will other countries try to leave the EU?

Efforts will be made to avoid "the psychology of a bank run" gripping the EU, amid calls for parallel referendums in the Netherlands, France, Poland and Hungary, says The Guardian.

Such a domino effect has been the stated goal of some Leave campaigners - Michael Gove called for the "liberation of Europe". France's National Front leader Marine Le Pen, Dutch anti-immigration politician Geert Wilders and Italy's Northern League have all called for their own vote.

A series of general elections are on the horizon that could prove pivotal. The Dutch go to the polls next March, the French in April and May, while the Germans will vote in autumn 2017. Many believe that if an independent Britain proves to be a success, the bloc could quickly unravel.

How does the referendum result affect Europe's global standing?

With such division and uncertainty in the air, some feel Europe woke up this morning a significantly weaker entity. Former Austrian chancellor Werner Faymann says it is inevitable the continent will lose some of its status.

What are EU leaders saying?

European Council president Donald Tusk has tried to calm the conversation, saying he is "determined to keep our unity" and that "hysterical reactions" should be avoided.

Next March marks the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, the EU's founding document. The Daily Telegraph predicts it will be "a fraught celebration".

Recommended

Deal or no deal: showdown Brexit talks resuming in Brussels
Brexit trade talks to resume between the European Union and the UK
In Depth

Deal or no deal: showdown Brexit talks resuming in Brussels

Long Covid: the symptoms, the treatment and who is most at risk
A Covid patient is wheeled into hospital
Fact file

Long Covid: the symptoms, the treatment and who is most at risk

Fact check: does a pint a day really keep the doctor away?
binge drinking
In Depth

Fact check: does a pint a day really keep the doctor away?

Blair’s hair: Brad Pitt or Gandalf?
Tony Blair
In Brief

Blair’s hair: Brad Pitt or Gandalf?

Popular articles

London mayoral race 2021: who will win?
Night Tube Sadiq Khan
In Depth

London mayoral race 2021: who will win?

Laurence Fox to Count Binface: the most colourful London mayor candidates
Count Binface
Behind the scenes

Laurence Fox to Count Binface: the most colourful London mayor candidates

TV crime dramas to watch in 2021
Chris Rock stars in the fourth series of Fargo
In Review

TV crime dramas to watch in 2021