A SENIOR Brussels bureaucrat has admitted for the first time that Britain could “survive” outside the European Union.
Trade commissioner Karel De Gucht conceded that the UK would not be plunged into poverty by quitting the EU.
His remarks were seen last night as reflecting a growing acceptance among Eurocrats that Britain is edging towards an exit from the EU.
Mr De Gucht, a former deputy prime minister of Belgium, said: “I don’t doubt that Great Britain can survive without Europe, I think that goes for a lot of member states.
“The real question is whether that would be the right choice. What I am quite convinced of is that if Great Britain wants to play a major role on the world scene in the next generation it will be as part of Europe and not independently.”
The EU costs the UK £50 million a day and its laws affect British business and interests.