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Leaders express fears of Brexit’s ripple effect across World economic blocs

By Nzau Musau | June 26th 2016

Fears of domino effect of Britain’s exit from the European Union Saturday reverberated across Europe and among world’s regional economic blocs.

The fears were more felt in Europe with Polish President Andrzej Duda pleading for concerted action to prevent a knock-on effect on the union.

In far-away lands like in former “British East Africa”, there were fears that “Brexit: could give ideas to disgruntled East Africa Community (EAC) member states to pull out altogether. Besides the prospects of actual pull-out, Brexit presents another danger of giving stunted politicians ideas of rejigging their political careers through the referendum processes.

“Everything must be done to avoid a domino effect so that the publics of other countries do not say they do not want to be members of the European community,” Duda told a Polish radio station immediately after the results were

The fears have abounded throughout the campaign period. In fact, many analysts kept faulting UK Prime Minister David Cameron for initiating the referendum in the first place.

In the run up to the poll earlier in the week, German finance minister Wolfang Schauble told Der Spiegel magazine that he couldn’t rule out a domino effect if Britain were to leave.

“You can’t rule it out ... How would the Netherlands, which has traditionally been very closely allied with Britain, react, for example?”

Studies widely quoted in sections of European press in the last week showed that support for the EU amongst the Europeans had plunged irredeemably.

“A Brexit vote would be likely to lead to more forceful and frequent calls for referendums on the EU in Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands - and depending on next year’s presidential elections, in France – that could prove increasingly difficult for weaker governments to ignore,” the Guardian.

Writing in the Telegraph Saturday, Matthew Holehouse described Saturday’s events as “the greatest disaster to befall the block in its 59-year history.” He said the “the road ahead is unclear.”

“Brexit could trigger a domino effect as the bloc without Britain becomes less attractive to liberal, rich northern states such as Denmark and the Netherlands, where demands are growing for copy-cat plebiscites,” he wrote.

The Dutch are expected to conduct elections in March next year, the French in April and May and Germans in the same year.

Saturday’s historic feat comes at a time when the EAC, the local equivalent of EU, is riddled with challenges of suspicion among member states, back-stabbing in process of making deals and slow integration of the community.

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