Post-Brexit Britain will become EU’s ‘competitor’ like US & China, warns Merkel
German Chancellor Angela Merkel says Britain will become “a potential competitor” just like the US and China after they leave the bloc. The comments come ahead of the two sides entering a critical week to broker a Brexit deal.
Merkel made the stark remarks on Sunday night at the Élysée Palace in Paris, where she was a guest of French President Emmanuel Macron for a working dinner, with Brexit no doubt high up on the agenda.
It signals a noticeable breakaway from the familiar EU line, that the UK will remain a friendly neighbor in any post-Brexit scenario, from one of the bloc’s most influential members. It also casts significant doubts on whether Germany and the UK can remain close partners after Brexit.
It’s sure to ruffle feathers with the British government, which has attempted to have the upper hand in negotiations with Brussels, notably through PM Boris Johnson’s insistence that the UK will leave the bloc on October 31, deal or no-deal.
UK and EU officials are working desperately to secure an agreement that can be signed off at the European Council summit in Brussels on Thursday and Friday. Leaders of the EU 27 nations will either agree to a deal brokered by the two sides or consider offering an extension to Article 50 and delay Brexit.
The UK’s parliament will convene on Saturday in an attempt to resolve the intractable issue. It will be the first Saturday sitting since 1982, when Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas), and only the third since WWII.