The potential pitfalls of a Brexit—U.K. exiting the European Union—sound near cataclysmic for the rest of the 28-nation band.
Organizations including the Global Counsel have projected that should a Brexit occur, the union’s GDP could fall as much as 15%, diminish trade, and slash the EU’s political clout abroad.
Which begs the question, what’s the E.U.’s parachute plan, should Brexiters achieve their goal?
Well, according to German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, “We would cry.”
Schaeuble’s quip was met with laughter and applause during the annual British Chambers of Commerce conference in London on Thursday, as the 73-year-old spoke on Brexit referendum.
Of course some also pointed out how out of character it seemed for the man who had helped negotiate the reunification Germany after the fall of the Berlin Wall, and played a major role in the heat of the Greek debt crisis.
Schaeuble did go on to talk about the serious matter at hand, urging the U.K. not to leave the financial bloc.
“If the U.K. would not be engaged (in) the European Union as a member, I think the U.K. would take the risk that continental Europe would be a little bit less stable, more volatile and that is not in Britain’s interests,” said Schaeuble, according to Reuters.
British finance minister George Osbourne echoed the sentiment, saying that he would “rather spend the next few years working out how to improve trade rather than spending years on a costly divorce,” according to the Independent.
British citizens will vote on the referendum June 23.