Brexit will have a bigger economic impact on the UK than the European Union, the former head of the European Central Bank has told BBC Radio 5 Live.
Jean-Claude Trichet added the break-up was “totally contrary to the new world” of large emerging economies, with single currencies and single markets.
Asked how Brexit would affect the other EU countries, he said: “It’s very much a question of proportion.”
The EU’s economy is worth about £13tn, compared to the UK’s £2tn.
Speaking to the Wake up to Money programme, he said: “If I take the EU as a whole and compare the GDP of the EU to the GDP of the UK, you see there’s a small portion which is the UK.”
He added: “It’s normal that the European 27 are less impacted themselves than the UK by this event which has been entirely decided upon by the UK – when all the 27 wanted the UK to stay.”
The EU is the UK’s biggest trading partner, accounting for nearly half of all exports in 2016, according to official figures.
Brexit supporters argue new, lucrative trade deals can be made with fast-growing emerging markets.
Mr Trichet suggested Brexit will also be detrimental to the EU at a time of economic growth elsewhere in the world, arguing that it should be avoided “for the sake of the UK in the very long run, and for the sake of our continent”.
He said: “In a period when India, China, Brazil, Mexico, Indonesia, and all emerging economies are going very fast and are dwarfing Europe more and more, how can it be that we decide to separate ourselves, to split? It is totally contrary to the new world.
“How many single markets with a single currency will we have which will be enormous in 10 or 20 years’ time? Look at India, look at China, look at all those emerging countries.
“I am a little bit passionate because I think that there’s something which goes against what would be a good strategy for all Europeans.”
Mr Trichet ran the European Central Bank from 2003 to 2011, overseeing its response to the 2008 crash and the Greek debt crisis. He’s now concerned about rising public and private debt levels around the world.
“We see financial leverage continuing at a pace which is not sustainable and we should, at the level of the international community, be much more aware of the fact this global financial leverage is dangerous and could be one of the causes – not the only one – of the next crisis.”
He added: “If we had a new crisis nobody would forgive the international community for not having taken the appropriate steps to avoid it.”
How can we avoid problems arising for UK businesses after Brexit?
The HMRC initiative for Research and Development aims to reduce the likelihood of the UK ever spiralling into a new economic crisis. Not only does the initiative promote innovation; but it’s pumping money back into hard working UK businesses. The cash rebates received by UK Limited companies through the initiative can help continue the growth of businesses: new equipment, machines, materials and even taking on new staff, have all been results of cash benefits from HMRC, through the Research and Development initiative.
Although the initiative has been in play since 2000, recent years have seen claims for Research and Development tax skyrocket, as the eligibility for submitting claims has opened to a much wider range of industries since Brexit, with the hopes to boost the UK Economy.
With this news coming to light, now is a better time than ever to start a claim or to start investing in innovation, with the knowledge that your hard work will be rewarded. A shocking 95% of UK companies eligible to claim, still haven’t due to common misconceptions that they are not eligible.