Brexit would shut UK out of single market: German Finance Minister Schaeuble

If a majority of Britons opt for a Brexit in the June 23 referendum, it will shut the nation out of the single market with its free movement of people, goods and services, Schaeuble said.

By: AFP | Berlin | Updated: June 15, 2016 10:02 am
Germany, german finance minister, Wolfgang Schaeuble ,European Union,Schaeuble, Schaeuble warns Brexit, British referendum, June 23 referendum, world news, latest news Schaeuble warned that a Brexit could spark contagion in the EU(File photo)

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble on Friday warned that if Britain voted to leave the European Union, it wouldn’t have access to the single market like non-members Norway and Switzerland do.

“That won’t work,” the veteran minister told Germany’s Der Spiegel weekly, which tomorrow plans to publish a German-English edition at home and in Britain with “Please don’t go!” on the cover.’

“That would require the country to follow the rules of a club which right now it wants to leave.”

If a majority of Britons opt for a Brexit in the June 23 referendum, it will shut the nation out of the single market with its free movement of people, goods and services, Schaeuble said.

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“In is in. Out is out,” he told Der Spiegel, Germany’s top selling weekly news magazine.

The polls are on a knife’s edge ahead of the referendum on whether Britain should stay in or leave the 28-country bloc.

Schaeuble warned that a Brexit could spark contagion in the EU, according to excerpts of the interview due to appear in Der Spiegel’s Saturday edition.

“How, for example, would the Netherlands react, given its traditionally very close ties to Britain?” he said.

Whatever the outcome, he added, the EU must show it has learned lessons from the British referendum.

“In response to a Brexit, we couldn’t simply demand further integration,” he said.

“That would be clumsy. Many people would rightfully ask whether we politicians still haven’t got the message.”

Even if a Brexit is narrowly averted, he said, “we would have to see it as a warning and a wake-up call not to continue with business as usual.”

Schaeuble warned that a Brexit would hurt all sides, saying that “it would be a miracle if a British withdrawal would not have economic disadvantages”.

On the continent, he said, eurozone finance ministers “are preparing for all possible scenarios in order to limit the dangers”.

But if Britain leaves, Schaeuble added, Europe in the end “will manage without Britain”.

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  1. H
    Harry Achari
    Jun 11, 2016 at 12:38 pm
    Briton has the most booming economy among EU nations while the rest are doing only spoil sport. Briton has nothing to loos if it exit. Policy of filling EU with asylum seekers is one of the reason for its decision.
    Reply
  2. A
    Anand Ch
    Jun 11, 2016 at 5:10 am
    Before such adventure, Britishers must take honest call on demographics. Many say it is no longer same UK what it is used to be. If that is right then it is in the interest of UK to be with crowd or else it will lose its ideny. Before it becomes another Istan, they should wake up.
    Reply