Brexit no leverage for better EU deal: Schaeuble

2016-05-12 20:02
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble in Berlin. (Bernd von Jutrczenka , dpa  AFP)

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble in Berlin. (Bernd von Jutrczenka , dpa AFP)

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

Berlin - Britain should not hope to use a "Brexit" to renegotiate a membership deal with the European Union, Germany's finance minister warned on Thursday.

"In means in and out means out," Wolfgang Schaeuble said, adding that British Prime Minister David Cameron in February negotiated a "very good deal for the UK" with the EU.

The accord, which Cameron is using as the keystone in his campaign for Britain to vote to remain in the EU, "confirms a special status for the UK and one that demands a lot from EU member states", said the German finance minister.

"But in contrast to what some are saying, this is the only deal on the table, there will be no renegotiations," said Schaeuble.

"An 'out' vote cannot and will not be used as leverage to get a better deal. If the UK votes in, the deal begins immediately. If it votes out, then the exit process begins."

Britain is to hold a closely-watched June 23 referendum on whether or not it should stay in the 28-nation bloc, and opinion polls are showing that the nation is still largely undecided on the issue.

While making clear that the decision lies with Britons alone, Schaeuble said: "I think both the EU and UK are better served with Britain remaining. I say this not only as a life-long European but also as a man used to making pragmatic decisions based on level-headed analyses."

Schaeuble acknowledged that Britain has been a "force for constant change in the EU".

"Thanks partly to the British, the EU has less wasteful agricultural and fishery policies, a liberal single market, a commitment to free trade and 28 member states," he said.

"Without the UK, the EU will be less liberal, less efficient and less influential on the world stage," said Schaeuble.

And while Britain would still have a special relationship with the EU, even if it left the bloc, those links "should not be defined by splendid isolation but by splendid integration".

Separately, European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker warned Britain that it cannot hope to share in the bloc's advantages if it decides to leave.

"Those who leave the table should not be allowed to eat at the table," he told a forum organised by German broadcaster WDR.

Read more on:    eu  |  wolfgang schaeuble  |  david cameron  |  uk  |  germany  |  brexit

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

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.