UK Impact

As MEPs vote for tougher EU border controls German minister threatens UK for wanting same

ON the day MEPs voted to toughen-up border controls Germany’s finance minister once again threatened Britain saying there could be no access to the single market without unhindered access to the UK for EU citizens.


Wolfgang Schäuble warned Britain that Switzerland could not negotiate free movement

Wolfgang Schäuble said he rejected suggestions from Westminster that Britain could retain full EU market access while curbing immigration.

Bizarrely his comments came as 483 MEPs voted to toughen-up external border controls yesterday.

His blunt warning also came after several Brexit campaigners said the UK could have full access to the single market, including the vital financial sector, while limiting the number of EU nationals entering the country.

Unlike many of his European allies, Mr Schäuble said Britain and the EU will not start negotiations on their future relations before the Prime Minister – whoever that may be – triggered Article 50 to leave the bloc.

One thing is clear: membership of the internal market means that one has to accept the basic freedoms in Europe

Wolfgang Schäuble

Refusing to compromise at any level, he said: “One thing is clear: membership of the internal market means that one has to accept the basic freedoms in Europe.

“And this had to be painfully learned in Switzerland after a referendum (on limiting free movement of people). That’s how it is.”


The Swiss held a referendum on limiting free movement, but may have to back peddle

Switzerland, which is not an EU member but is home to more than a million EU citizens and is part of the European Economic Area (EEA), voted to impose quotas on migration in 2014.

The vote meant it could then trigger a “guillotine clause” which would rip up a bilateral deal with the EU on free movement of people – and then trigger the cancellation of si

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