It may take the U.K. as long as five years to leave the European Union, with the process set to do major harm to both parties, billionaire investor George Soros said, urging the world’s biggest trading bloc to avoid penalizing Britain and instead focus on reforming itself.
The EU should capitalize on the momentum from election victories for pro-European candidates in The Netherlands and France, and the likelihood of a repeat in Germany in September, Soros said in a Project Syndicate op-ed published Thursday. It can use this to push through long-delayed overhauls, shore up support for the bloc, boost economic growth and overcome the “biggest threat” of all — a banking and migration crisis in Italy, he said.
Brexit “is certain to be immensely damaging to both sides,” Soros said. “Negotiating the separation with Britain will divert the EU’s attention from its own existential crisis, and the talks are bound to last