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How’s this for apocalyptic? “As a historian I fear Brexit (the British vote to leave the European Union in the referendum this Thursday) could be the beginning of the destruction of not only the EU but also Western political civilization in its entirety.” So said Donald Tusk, president of the European Union, in an interview published last week in the German newspaper Bild.

Tusk is not alone in his worries: Margot Wallstrom, Sweden’s foreign minister, fretted aloud earlier this month that the British referendum could trigger an avalanche of demands for special treatment or in/out referendums in other EU member countries.

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