Why Berlin Won’t Come to UK’s Rescue on Brexit

World » EU | September 8, 2017, Friday // 09:57
Bulgaria: Why Berlin Won’t Come to UK’s Rescue on Brexit pixabay.com

With the German election around the corner, the United Kingdom appears to be holding out hope that a fourth term for Chancellor Angela Merkel and a potentially more pro-business coalition partner could come to its rescue in divorce talks in Brussels, writes Politico

Such wishful thinking is understandable given London’s precarious negotiating position, but it reflects major misconceptions about Berlin’s ability — and its willingness — to push for a softer Brexit.

For most Germans, Brexit is still a bit of puzzle. How does retreating from a club of like-minded democratic countries allow Britain “to take back control,” they wonder.

When German voters look at the economic and political challenges facing Europe — the threats to its security and the disdain that U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin show for its institutions and values — they want more cooperation in Europe, not less.

Britain’s Brexiteers have claimed they don’t want to leave Europe, just the European Union. But that statement only proves how little they understand about how Germany sees the bloc. For Berlin, the EU is a core national interest and the only permanent and effective solution for political cooperation in Europe.

For Germany, nothing is more important than the single market.
In theory, of course, European nations could work together without common institutions. But for the Germans especially, history has shown us that this doesn’t go smoothly in practice. And the more complex the issues at stake, the more pressing the need for common institutions and shared sovereignty becomes. 

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