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>> Well, this referendum, if it leads to Britain leaving the EU, would be like putting European history into reverse gear. It would be the first time that a country had voted to leave the EU. It would call into question all of the structures that were put into place after World War II.
European Union, but also NATO, to create security and stability in a continent which had experienced two World Wars and a Cold War. A lot of American strategists thought that after the Cold War, that Europe was a problem solved. In fact, what they're seeing now is increasing concerns about Europe, and the risk of an important chunk of Europe falling off.
Well, what people at NATO, and the United States, and of course, also in the EU institutions are worried about is that this starts a gradual unravelling. That there'll be a fragmentation. Britain will not be the only country to be tempted by an exit. There's a possibility that more European leaders, or politicians in opposition parties, looking to curry public favor will be tempted to try David Cameron's tactics of demanding a renegotiation of their membership terms and using a pletha set as leverage.
In this case, I think there really is a sense that this is a historical decision that will have very long run consequences.