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LONDON, March 24 (Xinhua) -- European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker warned Friday that the EU could be doomed if other member states followed Brexit in leaving the bloc.

He also said Britain would face a bill of around 63 billion U.S. dollars as part of its departure from the EU, but insisted this was not a punishment.

Juncker was speaking in a media interview just days ahead of British Prime Minister Theresa May's starting of the Brexit process by sending a letter to trigger article 50.

The letter, to be sent next Wednesday, will kick-start two years of talks between London and Brussels to reach a deal on the future relationship between Britain and the EU.

In Friday's interview, Juncker described Brexit as a failure and a tragedy, but insisted he was not hostile towards Britain.

Juncker said that if any of the remaining 27 member states were to follow in Britain's footsteps, it could threaten the trading and economic bloc.

"I don't want others to take the same avenue. Let's suppose that others will leave -- two, three, four or five. That would be the end, the EU would collapse," he said.

There has been talk on both sides of the English Channel as to how much Britain would have to pay to leave the EU, with some sources putting the amount at 75 billion U.S. dollars or even higher.

In the interview, Juncker said the estimated 63 billion U.S. dollar price tag would cover the cost of projects Britain was already committed too, as well as the cost of pensions of EU officials who served during the period of Britain's membership.

The Commission president said the EU would approach withdrawal talks in a friendly and fair way, adding he was strongly committed to protecting the status of the three million EU nationals currently living in Britain and the million British nationals living in other EU states.

The interview came a day before leaders of EU member states are to gather in Rome Saturday to celebrate the signing of the Treaty of Rome 60 years ago, the agreement that saw the birth of what is now the EU. Britain will not join in the celebrations.

by Peter Barker

LONDON nike air max 2019 china nz , May 6 (Xinhua) -- The local election results in much of the UK point to the death of one of the major political parties and a crisis for another, experts said on Saturday.

The results of the local municipal elections come just five weeks before the general election on June 8, surprisingly called by prime minister Theresa May. These local elections were in many parts of the UK outside London.

Across England 2,370 seats were contested in 27 county councils nike air max 2019 mens nz , seven English unitary authorities and one metropolitan authority.

The Conservatives won 11 English councils and gained 313 councillors. Across the UK, including elections in Wales and Scotland, the Conservatives gained 558 seats, and were the only major party to gain seats.

The main opposition Labour party lost 320 seats nationally nike air max 2019 womens nz , including control of councils in core areas like the north east of England and in Scotland. In Scotland the Conservatives gained 164 seats and moved into the second spot, pushing Labour into third. Labour lost control of Scotland's largest city, Glasgow, for the first time in 40 years.

The new third party of UK politics nike air max 2019 shoes nz , the UK Independence Party (UKIP) was almost entirely wiped out across the UK, losing 114 seats, almost all its seats.

"I think the Conservative Party has obliterated UKIP. It's difficult to see what the rationale of UKIP is; its purpose was to take Britain out of Europe, It has succeeded in doing that in the referendum nike air max 2019 wholesale nz ," said Sir Ivor Crewe, master of University College, Oxford, and a veteran analyst of the UK electoral system.

"But the Conservative party is pledged to do what UKIP said it was in politics to do -- which was to take Britain out of the EU nike air max 2019 nz ," Crewe told Xinhua in an exclusive interview.

The implications for UKIP performance at the June 8 general election are bad, and they are conversely good for the Conservatives.

"Given that the Conservatives is a party of government and UKIP is not, it makes sense for UKIP voters to switch to the Conservatives," he said.

UKIP won 22 percent of the vote the last time these local elections were contested cheap nike air max 2019 outlet nz , and one in eight of all votes cast at the last general election in 2015, and who those voters support in June could decide the election.

Professor Thom Brooks, Head of the Durham Law School and associate in the School of Government at Durham University, said that it was a "surprise that the UKIP vote had totally collapsed".

"UKIP completely imploded cheap nike air max 2019 nz free shipping , it has had a lot of problems at the top. Nigel Farage stepping away. They are really struggling to find a reason to exist, they are often seen as a single issue party that issue to some degree is resolved," said Brooks.

Crewe predicted that with no unique purpose and with collapsed electoral support UKIP will "now only survive on the political fringes, and it will probably become a fringe anti-Muslim party like the English Defence League (EDL) and British National Party (BNP). I would be very surprised if any UKIP MPs were elected in June."


The local elections results were a portend of disaster in the general election for the main opposition Labour party cheap nike air max 2019 sale nz , according to Crewe.

Normally opposition parties after two general elections win back the support they lost in the previous election, said Crewe, they are ahead in the polls and do well in local elections and byelections.

"On this occasion the Labour Party did spectacularly badly. I don't think an opposition party has done as badly in elections of this kind for many decades," he said.

"It is a warning to the Labour party that they are likely to go down to a very serious defeat cheap nike air max 2019 online nz , the Conservatives are likely to win a very h

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