It is war!
That’s what European Union leaders are saying will happen if Britain’s exit from the continental alliance is allowed to go forward – and apparently Donald Trump is the one to blame.
By encouraging Brexit, as it is commonly called, Trump could fuel the possibility of war in Eastern Europe, EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said that Trump’s support of Brexit is “annoying” and “surprising” and that the President’s promise of “America First” is “frightening” to Europeans.
“For the first time in postwar history we have an American president giving the impression he is not interested in European affairs,” he said, Newsweek reports. “By the way, he does not understand anything about Europe. He had Tusk [Donald Tusk, president of the European Council] on the phone and he thought it was me.”
Junker said he warned Vice President Mike Pence about the coming potential for conflict when he visited Europe last month.
“I told the vice president, ‘Do not say that, do not invite others to leave, because if the European Union collapses, you will have a new war in the western Balkans,’” Juncker said.
Junker was referring to the breakup of Yugoslavia in 1991 at the end of the Cold War. Ethnic conflict broke out between Serbs, Croats and Bosnian Muslims. More than 100,000 people died in the three-year-long conflict.
“If we leave them alone—Bosnia Herzegovina, Republika Srpska, Macedonia, Albania, all those countries — we will have war again,” he added.
The European project celebrates the 60th anniversary of its founding this month. But Juncker said the U.K. leaving the EU was a “tragedy” that would involve tough negotiations with member nations. “Every day we discover new problems we did not even know about or imagine,” Juncker said. “People think [Brexit] is the end. No it is just the beginning.”
In January, Trump said the U.K. was “doing great” and was “so smart” in getting out of the European Union. He also referred to the NATO military alliance as “”obsolete.”
During his visit, however, Pence tried to calm things down, saying the United States was committed to “ongoing cooperation” with EU nations “and maintaining that partnership in the years ahead.”