Brexit news – German panic as Brexit threatens £25bn UK trade deficit | UK | News

Hans-Olaf Henkel said it should be Germany leading the efforts in Brussels to ensure Britain leave the EU without a punishment, which has been suggested should happen by leading figures across the bloc.

According to the Office for National Statistics, Germany currently benefits from a £25bn trade deficit – meaning the Germany sells more to UK than it buys – but that could all change if Britain is unable to sign an agreement to allow it to trade inside the EU’s single market.

Speaking to Express.co.uk, Mr Henkel, the vice-chairman of the European Parliament’s third biggest group, the European Conservatives and Reformists, urged his fellow Germans to support Britain for the sake of their country’s businesses.

When asked whether Germany should be worried about Brussels bullying the UK, he responded: “Of course, that figure says it all. 

“Germany should be the country saying, ‘For Christ’s sake, give them the best trade deal possible’.

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Hans-Olaf Henkel says Germany should champion post-Brexit deals for the UK


Germany should be the country saying, ‘For Christ’s sake, give them the best trade deal possible’

Hans-Olaf Henkel


“If you look at Guy Verhofstadt or Michel Barnier saying, ‘Now Britain leaves the common market it should be at the end of the queue when it gets to the priorities of the European Commission and negotiating trade deals’.”

Mr Henkel then slammed the Commission’s unelected eurocrats for pursuing a less lucrative trade agreement with Japan instead of Britain.

The German MEP added: “Why have they said this when suddenly they’ve come up with a very quick deal for Japan?

“That by itself shows they want to punish Britain. For Christ’s sake, Japan was never at the beginning of any queue.

“Japan, of course, is important to the European Union, very important, but that by itself shows you how they see this.

“They are still in the mode of punishment, rather than in the mode of instead of doing the best thing in our own interests.

“We need negotiators there who are looking at the interests of the European Union, and not at the interests of what do we need to do to avoid another Brexit.”

In the wide-ranging interview, Mr Henkel also alluded it was the same anti-British outlook that had forced Britain out of the EU.

He accused Brussels figureheads Mr Verhofstadt and Jean-Claude Juncker of spearheading an anti-Brexit campaign which made it easy for Britons to vote to leave the bloc.

The German said the pair had ignored the real issues while attempting to create their dreamland of a “united states of Europe”.

He also accused the European Union leaders of abandoning Britain, when it was blatantly obvious further integration was not the answer to Brussels problems. 

The German MEP attributed Mr Verhofstadt’s anti-UK rhetoric as one of the overwhelming reasons behind Britons’ decision to leave the European Union.

The Belgian gave Brexiteers Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson ample opportunity to whip up an anti-Brussels agenda, according to Mr Henkel.

He added: “Those Brexiteer speeches, they had a fantastic time. They only had to point out the statements made by Mr Verhofstadt to really whip up the British population.”

Mr Henkel insisted if Mr Verhofstadt and the European Commission’s president, Mr Juncker had not pushed for further European integration Britain may have chosen to remain in the bloc and opposed Brexit.

“Britain joined the EU never under the assumption they should be part of the united states of Europe, with a president of Europe which has been elected by the people and a finance minister of Europe, which shares the money the way Brussels wants, not the way the local, democratically elected governments want,” He said.

“Let me put it this way if you joined a golf club called the EU and the golf club suddenly decides it doesn’t want to play golf, but instead football, and you leave the club – then I wonder, who has left whom?

“In my view, it was the EU who has left Britain, who has left the EU, and it was not Britain who left the EU.”

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