'Punishing' the UK for leaving the EU risks upsetting world trade, the WTO and other world powers, such as the US
The 'Remain' in the European Union brigade are scaremongering by claiming that the other 27 nations of the EU would either impose tough trading laws on us or somehow conspire to bring chaos to our economy, should we vote to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty and decide to go for a 'Brexit'.
This of course is complete nonsense. The politicians may pull a sour face and say nasty things but the businesses of the EU will look to their profit margins and demand that a fair trade agreement be set up as quickly as possible so as to safeguard their own positions. Their lobbyists would be working overtime. EU politicians may want to make an example of the UK but in doing so they would be stabbing themselves as well as their own people in the back.
Can you imagine EU car makers, technology firms, farmers and service providers etc cutting off their noses to spite their faces? No, they would be very harsh with any of their politicians that derailed the trade train, a train that does not have to stop rolling just because we leave the EU.
The claim that millions of UK jobs would just vaporise into thin air is also ludicrous as trade would continue. There are far more jobs in the EU connected to trade with the UK than the other way round. Even if the politicians painted the UK as the bogeyman their people would soon see through it and make their feelings felt at the next available ballot.
There is also absolutely no sense in turning your biggest local customer into a pauper either. Who's going to buy your goods or travel to your resorts and spend money if you do that? Especially in the current global economy. It is actually in their interests to continue to have a rich and successful customer on really friendly terms right on their doorstep.
By trying to put a fly in the UK ointment they would also be in danger of upsetting other nations, such as the US who, despite wanting the UK firmly in the EU, needs a strong and influential UK to back it where appropriate.
Then there's the WTO, on which the UK would immediately get back its full seat on Brexit. They are not going to wear any shenanigans during the talks that upsets a still delicate global economy.
It also makes sense of course that Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty says "…the member of the European Council or of the Council representing the withdrawing Member State shall not participate in the discussions of the European Council or Council or in decisions concerning it". It's the formation of a new contract after all and we will be negotiating with the EU as a whole, not the individual nations within it. But it does not mean they'll gang up on us. What the other members will do is look to keep things pretty much as they are. To do otherwise would be rocking the boat they themselves are sitting in – not a clever thing to do.
The UK is actually in a fantastic position to get a good, fair trading agreement in short order, then control its own destiny whilst saving money without the risks of whatever the EU thought up next. Or having 'ever closer union' foisted on us down the line after David Cameron fails to even renegotiate the timing of tea in Brussels – or worse a Labour government handing the UK over lock, stock and barrel.
And last but not least, if the other EU members are actually prepared to act in this way, then it is a club we should leave forthwith – we'd be better off finding new friends.