German View

Schäuble's Secret Brexit Plan

Schäuble source dpa
The German Finance Ministry, headed by Wolfgang Schäuble, took the unusual step Wednesday of denying a local media report that the government was preparing a bailout plan for struggling Deutsche Bank. The bank's shares, which hit new lows on Monday and Tuesday, rose after the statement.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union could lead to other countries leaving the 28-nation bloc.

  • Facts


    • Britain has at least two years’ time to negotiate a departure from the European Union.
    • Following its exit, it is free to hammer out a so-called “association treaty,” which outlines trade rules and other issues between Britain and the European Union.
    • Other countries that might want to leave the European Union could be France, Austria, Finland, the Netherlands and Hungary, according to a paper from the finance ministry.
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The German government aims to push for the European Union to negotiate an association agreement with Britain once it leaves the E.U., but wants to avoid making too many concessions that would give incentives for other states to follow suit, according to an internal German finance ministry paper seen by Handelsblatt.

An association treaty spells out trading rules and other regulations between the European Union and a non-E.U. country, for instance whether import tariffs apply to certain goods or services.

A treaty with Britain, once it had left the European Union, should not offer too much leeway to Britain in gaining access to the European Union’s internal market, said the ministry’s document, of which Handelsblatt has obtained a copy.

The document, prepared by Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble’s department, is called “German strategy regarding Brexit.” Eight pages long, the paper details how the government wants to deal with Britain as it leaves the European Union.

To deter other European countries from leaving the bloc, the European Union “should refrain from setting wrong incentives for other member states when renegotiating relations,” said the paper.

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