Mr Wellings appeared to suggest Brexit will provide member states seeking further integration into the European Union to promote their ideas. The think tank research director said rumours suggesting EU leaders are seeking to keep Britain in the bloc are not “strictly true” because of the dissenting position the country has always held toward proposals for extending Brussels’ powers. Speaking to RT UK, Mr Wellings said: “I’m not sure it’s strictly true that everyone is saying the EU elite want Britain to stay because Britain, of course, has been a nuisance.
“It’s been an obstacle to this project of ever-closer union, building an EU Superstate.”
But despite hints suggesting member states are planning to use Brexit to realise their integrational plans, Mr Wellings also suggested the bloc will seek to secure a deal with Britain in order to protect ailing economies within the Eurozone from a no deal.
He continued: “There would be teething problems with a no deal. The advantage is the UK Government could get on with removing the trade barriers with the rest of the world, which would mean cheaper products coming in from outside the EU and also getting rid of some of the expensive EU red tapes.
“The Eurozone economies are in deep trouble – Italy in recession, France with widespread social unrest and also in economic difficulties.
“So this kind of painful adjustment process, with UK consumers starting to buy cheaper goods from the rest of the world could be hugely damaging in the short term.”
German firms have revealed they are panicking over the “fatal” consequences if the UK breaks free from the EU without a deal, which could trigger a “massive crisis” across the continent, according to industry chiefs.
Joachim Lang, director-general of Federation of German Industry, said: “A chaotic Brexit is getting dangerously close.
“Businesses on both sides of the English Channel are hanging in the air. The priority must be to avoid a hard Brexit. British politics has to live up to this responsibility.
“The cohesion of the EU-27 is the top priority for the German industry. We support the EU’s negotiating line. The ball is in London’s court.”
The German economy relies heavily on the British market, with the UK having a £21billion trade deficit with Germany, out of a total trade volume of £134billion in 2017.
In January the president of the European Central Bank (ECB) Mario Draghi said the eurozone economic data had been weaker than expected and the risks to growth had increased.
Mr Draghi admitted the Eurozone economy had performed weaker than expected and claimed uncertainty was to blame for the shortfall.
The ECB boss said: “Over the past few months, incoming information has continued to be weaker than expected on account of softer external demand and some country and sector-specific factors.
“The persistence of uncertainties, in particular, relating to geopolitical factors and the threat of protectionism is weighing on economic sentiment.”
Italy announced last week that it had plunged into recession which has sparked fears it could affect the rest of the eurozone markets.
Britain is set to leave the EU on March 29 as Article 50, the exit clause that enabled Brexit, expires two years after it was triggered.