The economic damage of a brexit would be much worse than predicted in most mainstream studies before.
In contrast to a massive current account deficit against China, the US runs a current account surplus with respect to the European Union. The US-EU surplus is largely driven by a positive service balance and primary incomes originating from US investments abroad. Services and primary incomes overcompensate the US goods trade deficit with the EU. Rather than representing a “rip–off”, the different balances reflect the economies’ different business models.
In the face of new inside and outside threats, intensive discussions are currently underway regarding the future of the European Union. The increasing pressure to reform should be used to substantially reorganize the EU budget. The recent proposals of the European Commission for the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) still lack ambition in this respect.
The debate concerning the future of the EU has been in full swing ever since Emmanuel Macron’s (2017) Sorbonne speech. New threats to internal and external security in Europe require a stronger EU. In addition, Brexit is ripping a hole in the EU finances.