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EU Economics

‘You’re a shambles, Merkel!’ German leader warned 750,000 jobs on line over Brexit stance

ANGELA Merkel’s administration was today branded a shambles over Brexit as industry leaders warned 750,000 manufacturing jobs face the axe due to her negotiating stance.

Theresa May and Angela MerkelGETTY            Theresa May and Angela Merkel

Political opponents ripped into the German chancellor, saying businesses were “very concerned” by her approach and bemoaning that in Berlin “nobody is in charge” of directing the divorce talks towards a good result.Mrs Merkel was accused of attempting to “humiliate” Britain by pushing for a punitive deal and of ignoring top industry figures who fear the economic fallout from such a strategy.

The blistering broadside came from two senior figures in the German Free Democrats (FDP), which is currently set for a crucial role as kingmaker when the next coalition government is formed in September.
As a result the chancellor has largely been reluctant to talk about Britain’s decision to leave, preferring to focus instead on completing the crumbling eurozone with further federalisation.

But now dissension against that stance is starting to grow with the implications of a no-deal Brexit, and the possibility of tariffs being imposed on German exports, causing concern amongst employers.

Influential MEP Michael Theure, who is the FDP’s spokesman on economics, said it was time for the government in Berlin to take back control of the talks and ensure they end in a good free trade deal.
He told the Telegraph: “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.“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.”

The FDP is calling for a special “Brexit Cabinet” to be set up in Berlin to help inject some purpose into Mrs Merkel’s thus far lacklustre approach to the negotiations.

Mr Theure blasted: “Nobody is in charge. There is a lack of priorities. We absolutely need close coordination with the economy minister taking the lead.”The senior MEP said a “successful Brexit is of fundamental importance to Germany” whilst his party’s leader, Christian Lindner, warned Mrs Merkel against attempts to “humiliate” Britain.

Mrs Merkel’s coalition leading alliance, made up of the Christian Democratic Union and the Christian Social Union, is currently polling way out in the lead on 40 per cent.

However, she will need to draft other parties into her government if she is to secure a fourth term as chancellor with analysts saying the FDP is the most likely natural fit.

The centre-right party, which was decimated during the last German election, has regrouped by appointing a younger leadership and championing a free trading, low tax, controlled immigration platform.

The party is closely aligned with the Mittelstand Federation (BVMV) industry group, which represents small and medium sized businesses that together account for half of Germany’s £80 billion a year of exports to the UK.

Its head Mario Ohoven has been calling for a softer Brexit and warned Mrs Merkel that a massive 750,000 jobs were at risk within his member companies alone if she fails to secure a good trade deal with Britain.

He said: “We plead for a soft Brexit. That doesn’t mean Britain should be able to cherry pick but it is in everybody’s interest to avoid tariffs and trade barriers.”

New IMF estimates, released today, showed that Britain’s growth prospects have been downgraded for the next couple of years whilst some eurozone countries including Germany are predicted to perform strongly. However, analysts have warned that previous IMF forecasts have been wildly inaccurate.

http://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/832332/Brexit-news-German-industry-chiefs-warn-Merkel-cost-hard-Brexit

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