MEP Sharon Bowles has warned members of the mortgage industry that in six months time there could be no European Union or euro.
The Liberal Democrat MEP, who is also chair of the European Parliament’s economic and monetary affairs committee, made the comments at Mortgage Strategy’s Mortgage Masters conference at the Stoke Park hotel in Buckinghamshire yesterday.
Bowles had travelled to the event directly from Brussels to inform the industry about the current state of the European Mortgage Directive.
But after her main speech was concluded she was asked a number of questions from the audience about the future of Europe.
The event’s host, Kevin Duffy, managing director of UK brokerage Mortgage Force, asked her whether, with the continued instability in Europe, in six months time we would see a two speed Europe.
Bowles responded: “I don’t know whether we will have an EU.” When Duffy attempted to clarify whether she meant the EU or euro, she responded “I don’t think we’ll have either”.
She went on to say while the parliament and commission were currently holding the line well when it came to protecting the single market, she said she was pessimistic about the future of the euro, and in her opinion it was “game over”.
She says: “The fact is we’re not going to have this growth which means we’re probably going to have an asset price crash, which definitely means houses.
“This is probably a good thing for the younger generation because they’re priced out of everything and they’ll stay priced out if the government pays our way out of it.
“So there is a silver lining somewhere down the track if we do have this crash but of course having the EU there to enable the bigger market so we can stay competitive on the global arena will be very important.”
But she adds: “As I see it if we do lose the Euro the big prize is to try and fight against the forces of protectionism, the social unrest that we’re going to have because of the cuts that are going to be inevitable and you know it really is quite a bleak prognosis.