Britain will be a “second-rate player” after Brexit, unable to compete with big powers like the US, China and EU, outgoing EU Council president Donald Tusk warned Wednesday (13 November).
The former Polish premier said Brexit supporters were deluded if they thought leaving the EU would bring a return to dominance on the world stage, saying the departure marked “the real end of the British Empire”.
“You could hear in these voices a longing for the Empire. But the reality is exactly the opposite — only as part of a united Europe can the UK play a global role,” Tusk said in a speech at the College of Europe in Bruges — a finishing school for the next generation of EU bureaucrats.
“And the world knows it… after its departure, the UK will become an outsider, a second-rate player, while the main battlefield will be occupied by China, the US and the EU.”
Tusk, who leaves office at the end of the month, has made no secret of his opposition to Brexit.
“The UK election takes place in one month. Can things still be turned around?” Tusk said.
“The only words that come to my mind today are simply: don’t give up. In this match, we have had added time, now we are in extra time, perhaps it will even go to penalties?”