EU Lacking U.K. Would Be `Second Class,' Says Deutsche Economist

  • `Brexit' would undermine EU voice in UN, Folkerts-Landau says
  • Bloc faces devastation without London's `cosmopolitan outlook'

European Union nations are underestimating the fallout of a withdrawal from the bloc by the U.K., a so-called Brexit, said David Folkerts-Landau, head of research at Deutsche Bank AG.

“If Brexit occurs, continental Europe will be relegated to second-class status,” Folkerts-Landau told reporters in London Tuesday. “If it loses London and its globalized, cosmopolitan outlook, Europe will become far less important.”

Prime Minister David Cameron says he hopes to strike a deal next month with his 27 EU counterparts on renegotiated membership terms ahead of a referendum on whether the U.K. should stay in the bloc. That vote might be held as early as June. Polls on voting intentions have been inconclusive.

“The implications for the EU with the U.K. not being a member will be devastating,” said Folkerts-Landau, arguing the region’s influence in bodies such as the United Nations would be diminished.

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