‘Fantasy’ to think others will follow Brexit, Moscovici tells Trump

Pierre Moscovici dismissed Donald Trump's comments about the EU as "fantasy". [European Parliament]

It’s fantasy to think other European countries will follow Britain in deciding to leave the European Union, Pierre Moscovici said on Monday (16 January), after US President-elect Donald Trump said he believed it would be the case.

Asked about Trump’s comments in an interview with The Times of London newspaper, European Economic Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici said the cost of Brexit would be “considerable” and that it would deter other countries from following suit.

“I’m not worried, I think this idea that Brexit is going to be contagious is a fantasy, a bad fantasy,” Moscovici told reporters in Paris.

European leaders react to Trump bombshells

Europe should face Donald Trump with “confidence”, German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said Monday (16 January), after the US president-elect had predicted that more EU members would leave the bloc and charged that NATO was “obsolete”.

“Brexit is not a great thing,” he said and warned Trump that comments advocating a break-up of the European Union would not get the trans-Atlantic relationship off to the best start.

Europe’s best response until Trump’s inauguration would be to remain in “wait-and-see” mode and watch the first steps of its new administration.

But asked about Trump’s comments on slapping tariffs on German carmakers such as BMW, which sought to import cars to the US from plants in Mexico, Moscovici said:

“We must be extremely vigilant, mobilised and, when the time comes, reactive, if a certain spirit is confirmed.”

“Europe must not be naive and Europe must be able to react,” he said.

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