There’s no road map for European authorities facing the prospect of a British exit from their 28-nation union — by design.
Officials in Brussels are under orders not to commit any scenarios to paper to avoid alarmist leaks, according to a senior official from one European government tasked with making preparations.
Given the potential political and financial shockwaves surrounding a Brexit vote, it’s not clear a map would do much good. Global markets are already sputtering as anxiety mounts about the impact on the world economy. EU President Donald Tusk goes so far as to say that it could spell the end of “western political civilization itself.”
Tusk’s exaggeration highlights the task in self-preservation awaiting European officials as they confront the potential departure of a country from the EU — something that was inconceivable when the union was established. The mechanism for an exit was only written into law in 2009.