LARRY SUMMERS: Britain leaving the EU would mark the end of an era during which British opinion mattered

Economist and professor Larry Summers just served up a dire prediction at the SALT Conference in Las Vegas, if the surprising result of the British general election manages to force a ‘Brexit,’ or the departure of Britain from the European Union.

“It’s a terrible thing if Britain leaves,” Summers said on a Friday morning panel. “It’s a terrible thing for the European Union, which will lose a counterweight to Germany.”

Markets and politicians are still digesting the shocking results of yesterday’s election results, which defied all pollster predictions.

That has pushed some to speculate that Britain will, in fact, quit the EU (known as the ‘Brexit’).

Summers also said there would be a substantial impact for Britain.

“It would mark a sharp break in British-European relations,” he said, adding that the British would become less relevant to US foreign relations. He said Britain would become “an island nation in the truest sense,” adding that a Brexit would “mark the end of a several-hundred year chapter in history where British opinion loomed large on the world stage.”

But does he actually think it will happen?

“I would bet right now that five years from now that Britain will remain in the union,” he concluded.

NOW WATCH: 11 mindblowing facts about North Korea

NOW WATCH: Money & Markets videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.