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Germany warns Brexit would damage UK, European and global economies

Tuesday, March 8th 2016 - 08:24 UTC
Full article 17 comments
German finance minister said it would be a “catastrophe” if Britain left the bloc, but while the EU would be weaker without Britain, it would “not commit suicide.” German finance minister said it would be a “catastrophe” if Britain left the bloc, but while the EU would be weaker without Britain, it would “not commit suicide.”

British vote to leave the European Union would damage the British, European and global economies, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble said in an interview with the BBC

 “We would have years of the most difficult negotiations, which would be very difficult for the EU as well. And for years we would have such insecurity that would be a poison to the economy in the UK, the European continent and for the global economy as well,” Schäuble said, according to a translation of the interview broadcast.

Schäuble said that while Britain would still be able to trade with the EU after leaving, it could not have the advantage of access to the bloc’s single market without accepting free movement of EU citizens or paying in to the EU’s budget.

He dismissed the idea that Britain could follow the example of countries such as Norway, which accepts freedom of movement, pays contributions to the EU budgets and applies the single market’s rules and regulations without having a vote on them.

“I cannot really see why the UK would be interested in staying within the single market without being able to make decisions about it,” he said. “It doesn’t really make sense.”

A collection of polls published by YouGov on Saturday showed that the “In” camp has had four consecutive leads since February 25, averaging 40% support compared with 37% for “Out.” Its four previous polls put the “Out” camp ahead.

The German finance minister said it would be a “catastrophe” if Britain left the bloc, but while the EU would be weaker without Britain, it would “not commit suicide.”

“Brexit” following a June 23 membership referendum would rock the EU by ripping away its second-largest economy and its richest financial center. Prime Minister David Cameron has said Britain will be better off remaining in the bloc.

But the issue is a watershed inside his Conservative Party, with London’s influential mayor Boris Johnson backing the opposite side of the argument.

Johnson denied personal ambition was behind his decision to campaign for Britain to leave the EU and said it was a “golden opportunity” for the country to forge its own trade deals with the world.

Boris Johnson, whose backing for a so-called “Brexit” has angered Cameron and highlighted the deep splits within his Conservatives over Europe, said he believed the risky option was to remain inside the 28-nation bloc when Britons vote in a June 23 referendum.

Categories: Economy, Politics, International.

Top Comments

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  • Skip

    Damage would be temporary.

    No one can predict the future.

    Mar 08th, 2016 - 09:14 am 0
  • Idlehands

    I think the most important thing to remember about this referendum is a short summary that came from Boris:
    “there is no option to vote for a status-quo”

    The EU is a ship travelling in one direction only. Voters need to vote on whether they see the EU ship sailing towards a land of milk and honey or whether it's about to sail off the edge of the world. The problem is that the weather forecast is perpetual fog.

    My position at the moment is for Brexit - somebody needs to come up with a compelling argument to convince me to vote stay.

    NB The deal being struck with Turkey today is so stupid and conter-productive I think it may have a significant impact on the voting come June.

    Mar 08th, 2016 - 11:28 am 0
  • Pete Bog

    The statements coming from the EU seem to be designed to persuade us to leave rather than to stay-there are no statements outlining how the UK will be better off in the EU, rather than how bad it will be to leave.

    If the EU was so good, they would be persuading us how the UK as a country could improve as a member of the EU rather than the impression given, that the EU don't want to lose a sugar daddy.

    Mar 08th, 2016 - 11:38 am 0
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