The rest of the member countries in the Union are regarding the British separation with grief and mistrust but also they are getting ready to retaliate.
If Britons do vote in a referendum on Thursday to leave the European Union, they can expect a tough and unforgiving response, with capitals across the Continent intent on deterring other countries from following the British example, European officials and analysts said.
In other words, Britain will be made to suffer for its choice.
With other issues pressing, including Greek debt, the migrant crisis and terrorism, the largest and most powerful European nations will want clarity, and are not likely to tolerate a long period of post-referendum confusion.
“In is in — out is out,” the powerful German finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, told Spiegel magazine. “I hope and believe that the British will ultimately decide against Brexit. The withdrawal of Britain would be a heavy loss for Europe.”