THE EUROPEAN UNION will cease to exist unless the remaining 27 states form one negotiating strategy over Brexit, a top German professor warned.

Eva Heidbreder, of the Center for European Studies, argued Britain’s historic vote to leave the bloc posed a “crucial challenge” to the survival of the bloc.

She added that the surge in populism across the continent needed to be curtailed in order to secure the project’s future.

Speaking to the Geneva Hub for Democracy, she said: “Is the EU really about to explode? Not immediately, but there are crucial challenges.

“One challenge we’re dealing with is Brexit, Brexit indeed is a challenge for the EU because for the first time a country voluntarily wants to leave the union.

“But, there are procedures, there are ways of doing it, so this doesn’t need to escalate to a bigger crisis.

“As long as Germany and the other 27 states are arguing for their common interests and it doesn’t fall apart to 27 separate interests.”

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