Germany reacts to Brexit day

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, February 1, 2020
Adjust font size:

BERLIN, Jan. 31 (Xinhua) -- More than three and a half years after the Brexit vote, German politicians, industry representatives and the public expressed diverse reactions as the United Kingdom leaves the European Union (EU) at midnight (1100 GMT) on Friday.

Germany should "look ahead and make sure that the European Union becomes stronger, not weaker," Minister for Economic Affairs Peter Altmaier told the public broadcaster ZDF.

Altmaier underlined the importance of reaching a trade agreement with the UK that is "as free as possible, as intensive as possible," because this is a matter of "very concrete interests" of many citizens both in the EU and the UK.

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas was positive about the upcoming negotiations. "A deal without tariffs and quotas sounds good," Maas told the German editorial network (RND). However, such a deal could not include unfair subsidies or social and environmental dumping.

After the 2016 Brexit referendum in the UK, the share of German exports and imports to and from Britain has "shrunk significantly," according to the German economic think-tank ifo Institute.

"However, the political uncertainties seem to be diminishing ... Trade can also benefit from this in the future," said Martin Braml, ifo's foreign trade expert.

The German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) was less positive. "The Brexit drama is by no means over after today," warned DIW President Marcel Fratzscher, adding that the continuing uncertainty is "poison for the German economy."

According to DIW's calculations, gross domestic product (GDP) in Germany had grown by 0.2 percentage points less each year than it would have without Brexit.

Calling Brexit a "sad event," German Bundestag (federal parliament) President Wolfgang Schaeuble said he believes that other countries would now be less likely to leave the EU after the British example.

"I see the danger averted, the course of the Brexit has rather weakened such considerations in other EU countries," Schaeuble told the Funke media group.

Most Germans also consider Brexit "bad." Only nine percent think that Brexit is a good idea, according to the latest Politbarometer survey conducted in mid-January. Enditem

Follow on Twitter and Facebook to join the conversation.
ChinaNews App Download
Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comment(s)

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Enter the words you see:   
    Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from