Britain Europe 

A second note of eurorealism? Pass the smelling salts

I wrote here about Hans-Olaf Henkel, a senior German politician who is deputy head of the European Parliament’s industry, research and energy committee and who accused the European Union’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier of trying to punish Britain by making a deliberate “mess” of key elements of Brexit.

This made a welcome change, to put it mildly, from the threats being made almost daily by those protection racket enforcers, aka EU negotiators, that they will pulverise Britain’s economy into rubble so that no other member state will dare even think of making a similar dash for freedom; and the resulting daily wails of imminent Brexapocalypse and Leaveageddon by Remainers trying to reverse the Brexit vote without being seen to do so.

Henkel was duly dismissed as someone who has form as a bit of a euro-sceptic himself. So nothing to see here, apparently, move along please.

But now look! A second German politician has said something similar but even stronger! Pass the smelling salts.

Michael Theurer, the economics spokesman for German’s Free Democrats, has warned that it would be a fatal error for Europe to humiliate Britain.

“We are hearing an uttering of concerns from German companies and trade unions about what could happen if there is a crash-Brexit and no deal in place. Criticism is growing”.

You don’t say.

Theurer continued:

“People are only just starting to realise the full dimensions of this. There could be WTO duties, visas, all kinds of things. Small enterprises are very concerned. There are also a lot of German companies that rely on financing from the City of London, and they are very happy with the service they get now.”

In other words, just as the Brexiteers have said from the start the EU has a great deal to lose from punishing Britain. So why on earth would they cut off their nose to spite their face?

But there was more. In Britain, Remainers shriek daily that Britain’s Brexit team is a shambles, none of them has got a clue, it’s all a total mess. But according to Theurer, that description fits the EU side.

“Nobody is in charge. There is a lack of priorities. We absolutely need close coordination with the economy minister taking the lead.” Well, waddya know.

The betting currently is that the Free Democrats will be joining Merkel’s ruling coalition after the German elections this coming autumn. So Theurer’s words can’t easily be dismissed.

What’s that deafening sound? It’s the silence around Theurer’s remarks over at the balanced and objective BBC.

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