Yanis Varoufakis: Brexit will lead to 'disintegration' of the EU

17 January 2021, 14:06 | Updated: 17 January 2021, 14:14

By Seán Hickey

The former Greek Finance Minister warned that the EU is 'not nervous enough' about the future of the bloc post-Brexit.

Andrew Castle was speaking to economist Yanis Varoufakis as the former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn launched his Peace and Justice Project, where Mr Varoufakis was a speaker.

Quizzed on the EU's reaction to the Brexit deal, Mr Varoufakis insisted that "they are congratulating themselves. They are thinking 'oh, now we have gotten rid of the difficult Brits and now we can do stuff.'"

The former Greek Finance Minister insisted that "they have failed to take into account the dynamic process of disintegration has begun."

While he believes the EU will be a vastly different entity in years to come, Mr Varoufakis added that he doesn't think there will be another member state leaving.

"The worst threat for the European Union is an under the surface, slow deconstruction."

"The greatest fear for the European Union is that it's going to become irrelevant," he said.

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When pushed by Andrew Castle on who he thought benefits most from the post-Brexit trade deal, economist Yanis Varoufakis told him that "both sides lost."

Mr Varoufakis admitted that he campaigned for remain, arguing that "the moment you split the European Union up you're going to end up with heavy costs for the weakest citizens on both sides of the British channel."

He made the case that the burden will not just be on the UK, but EU member states will we worse off as a result of Brexit.

Mr Varoufakis added that the immediate refusal to accept the referendum result had a major impact on British society: "Once the referendum was done, the hard remainers – people including Keir Starmer – shot themselves in the foot by continuing to back a second referendum."

He argued that the continued campaign to remain was a "major act of disrespect to those who won the referendum."