German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble warned Friday that if Britain voted to leave the European Union, it wouldn't have access to the single market like non-members Norway and Switzerland do.
That won't work, the veteran minister told Germany's Der Spiegel weekly, which on Saturday plans to publish a German-English edition at home and in Britain with Please don't go! on the cover. That would require the country to follow the rules of a club which right now it wants to leave.
If a majority of Britons opt for a Brexit in the June 23 referendum, it will shut the nation out of the single market with its free movement of people, goods and services, Schaeuble said.
In is in. Out is out, he told Der Spiegel, Germany's top selling weekly news magazine.
The polls are on a knife's edge ahead of the referendum on whether Britain should stay in or leave the 28-country bloc. Schaeuble warned that a Brexit could spark contagion in the EU, according to excerpts of the interview due to appear in Der Spiegel's Saturday edition.
How, for example, would the Netherlands react, given its traditionally very close ties to Britain? he said. Whatever the outcome, he added, the EU must show it has learned lessons from the British referendum.
In response to a Brexit, we couldn't simply demand further integration, he said. That would be clumsy. Many people would rightfully ask whether we politicians still haven't got the message.
Even if a Brexit is narrowly averted, he said, we would have to see it as a warning and a wake-up call not to continue with business as usual.
Schaeuble warned that a Brexit would hurt all sides, saying that it would be a miracle if a British withdrawal would not have economic disadvantages.
On the continent, he said, Euro zone finance ministers are preparing for all possible scenarios in order to limit the dangers. But if Britain leaves, Schaeuble added, Europe in the end will manage without Britain.
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So countries can have either membership or free trade with the EU.Jun 11th, 2016 - 06:40 am 0
But the UK can only have membership.
Germany is so worried that the UK if voting to leave would leave a big hole in the finances as the UK is a major contributer in keeping the EU solvent. It would do no harm to the EU if they told the public where all the money is going. The EU has not, as far as I am aware , audited their accounts in all the years that the EU has existed.Jun 11th, 2016 - 07:20 am 0
Ok Mr Shaeuble, no trade agreement and you will deny BMW, Audi, Mercedes, Porsche, Volkswagon ability to sell their cars in UK.Jun 11th, 2016 - 07:51 am 0
He is behind the curve, most people have realised that threatening Brits is not a productive way forward, you would think the Germans would have learnt that lesson.