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>> If Britain votes to leave the European Union, the block that would be left would be poorer, less economically liberal, less a friend of the United States, and less open to any further enlargement. I'm Paul Taylor, Reuters European Editor, speaking from Paris where even the French, who are not exactly friends of Britain and Europe, say by two-thirds that they want written to stay.
>> In its 43 years of membership so far, the United Kingdom has been the champion of integrating the European single market, tearing down barriers to competition. Now, the EU would also have a big hole in its budget, because Britain still pays in a net 7 billion or more pounds a year.
Once Britain had left, and it will take at least two years to negotiate its departure. That money will be missing in the European Kitty. Now that budget goes mainly to the poorer regions of Europe, so now to central and east European countries, to help them develop their infrastructure, roads, bridges rail links and so on.
The balance of power among the three biggest European economies and states, Germany, France, and Britain, would also change obviously. Without Britain, France would have no partner to counterbalance the sheer power of German, the most powerful member of the block. Germany would lose a free market ally. Europeans are desperately hoping that Britain stays.
79% of Germans say they want Britain to stay in the EU, and only the Dutch, by a very small plurality say that they too would like to hold a referendum. And then, they say if they did have such a referendum a plurality of Dutch would vote in fact to stay.