Trump Presidency 'More Dangerous Than Brexit'

Republican candidate Donald Trump gives a thumbs-up.
Republican candidate Donald Trump attends a presidential debate in Cleveland on August 6, 2015. MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

A Donald Trump presidency in the U.S. is a greater threat to global stability than the U.K. leaving the European Union, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).

Trump is currently the hot favorite to be nominated as the Republican Party's presidential candidate, recently taking Florida's 99 delegates and forcing Marco Rubio out of the race. The New York businessman has warned there will be riots if he is denied the Republican nomination, but some of his proposed policies—such as a total ban on Muslims entering the U.S. and building a wall along the border with Mexico—have generated consternation within and without the Republican Party.

Trump becoming U.S. President is placed as the sixth-greatest threat to global stability by the EIU in its forecast for April. According to the report, the Republican candidate's hostility towards free trade and his labeling of China as a "currency manipulator" means that his election could result in a "trade war" and the scuppering of the Trans-Pacific Partnership —an ambitious agreement signed by 12 countries, including the U.S. and Mexico.

The EIU also cites Trump's militaristic tendencies towards the Middle East—he has advocated a ground invasion of Syria to destroy the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) and referred to Iraq as "Harvard University for terrorists"—as potential recruiting tools for jihadi groups and threats to stability. The likelihood of Trump becoming U.S. president is mitigated, however, by the EIU's prediction that his most likely Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, will defeat him in the election.

The concept of Trump leading the Free World is considered slightly more risky than Brexit by the EIU, which says that the U.K. leaving the EU would have negative ramifications for both parties. British voters will participate in a referendum on June 23 to decide whether the U.K. should remain part of the European bloc.

A sharp economic slowdown in China is ranked as the greatest risk to the world, followed by Russian intervention in Syria and Ukraine prompting a new Cold War.