Merkel hopes Britain will stay in EU

2016-06-11 12:32
Angela Merkel (AP)

Angela Merkel (AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Berlin — German Chancellor Angela Merkel stressed on Friday that she hopes that Britain will vote to remain in the European Union in a June 23 referendum. 

Her finance minister labelled the referendum a "wakeup call".

Britain and Germany have traditionally been allies in the EU on matters such as free trade.

"From my point of view, Great Britain remaining in the European Union is the best and most desirable thing for us all," Merkel said in a speech to a group representing family-owned businesses.

She added, "we have very close cooperation on many questions with Great Britain and would of course like to continue this within the framework of the European Union".

Germany has the biggest economy in the 28-nation bloc, and Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble told Der Spiegel magazine that a British exit, known as Brexit, would bad for both Britain and the EU.

"It would be a miracle if a withdrawal of Britain would come without economic disadvantages," he said, adding that he and other EU officials are "preparing for all possible scenarios in order to minimise the danger".

Schäuble said if it comes to a British exit, that the possibility of other countries following Britain's lead "cannot be ruled out".

"How would the Netherlands react, for example, which is traditionally very strongly linked with Great Britain?" he asked.

On the other hand, he said, "Europe will also function without Britain, if necessary."


Even if Britain's voters choose to remain in the European Union, the referendum itself shows a dissatisfaction that EU leaders can't ignore, he said in remarks to Der Spiegel for a special Brexit issue titled "Please don't go! Why Germany needs the British."

"We have to see this as a warning and a wakeup call not just to continue business as usual," he said, according to an advance copy of the magazine, which is publishing its Brexit feature in both German and English.

Though some have suggested the EU could use a British exit as an opportunity to push through further integration, Schäuble flatly rejected the idea.

"We cannot simply push for more integration as an answer to a Brexit," Schäuble said. "That'd be clumsy, and many would correctly question whether we politicians still don't understand."

The influential finance minister suggested that if Britain did leave, though, it couldn't expect to continue to enjoy the benefits of the European common market.

"In is in, out is out," he said.

Read more on:    eu  |  germany  |  uk

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.