Merkel ready for Brexit climbdown in Brussels amid growing fears for EU economy
The Prime Minister has vowed to take Britain out of the bloc on October 31 with or without a deal and said he would rather be “dead in a ditch” than ask Brussels for yet another Brexit delay. Germany, with is teetering economy heavily reliant on exports, would be among the hardest hit by a no deal departure and is keen to soften the Brexit blow.
We still have every chance of an orderly Brexit and the German government will do all it can to make that possible
Ms Merkel told the German parliament there was still a good chance for Britain’s departure to take place with a deal although she stressed Berlin was also prepared for a disorderly Brexit.
She said: “We still have every chance of getting an orderly Brexit and the German government will do everything it can to make that possible – right up to the last day.
“But I also say we are prepared for a disorderly Brexit.
“But the fact remains that after the withdrawal of Britain, we have an economic competitor at our door, even if we want to keep close economic, foreign and security cooperation and friendly relations.”
German is bracing itself for recession after being caught in the crossfire of the trade war between the US and China and industry chief fear the impact of a no deal Brexit om top of that could bring the country’s normally robust economy to its knees.
Ms Merkel said: “We have international uncertainty due to the US-China trade conflict and that is of course having an impact on an export nation.”
There are growing concerns in Europe about the impact of a no deal Brexit, prompting the European Commission to even change its rule around emergency funds.
And Ms Merkel’s statement to Parliament came after it emerged her French counterpart Emmanuel Macron was coming under huge pressure to back down over Brexit following an admission from a close ally that France will need to ask Brussels for financial aid in the case of no deal.
Mr Macron’s former Europe minister Nathalie Loiseau told France24 her country will need to ask the EU for money if the UK leaves without a deal.
Last week, the European Commission confirmed it was considering allowing EU countries to apply for cash to cope with a no deal Brexit using a special emergency fund.
Officials are working on a plan to classify no deal as a “major disaster”, a category normally used to describe destructive natural events such as earthquakes or major floods.
The unprecedented move would require the approval of EU states and the European Parliament.
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Ms Loiseau admitted that Mr Macron will be forced to “ask for money” from the EU.
She said: “A no deal is bad. Any kind of Brexit is bad, for the UK and the EU. There is no win-win situation for any kind of Brexit.
“We will need money because we have to build infrastructure for customs controls, for tariffs, for sanitary controls because we are the border between the UK and the EU.”
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