Merkel Wants “Close Relationship” Between the EU and Post-Brexit Britain

By א (Aleph) (Own work) [CC BY-SA 2.5 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons

At the World Economic Forum in Davos today, Angela Merkel, the chancellor of Germany, informed world leader that she wants the European Union and post-Brexit Britain to maintain a “close relationship.”

Merkel said that she was open to the form that this partnership would take. However, she said that it must not compromise the core principles of the European Union.

The German Chancellor added that Brexit was “obviously regrettable.” However, she said that it had helped the European Union to move forward and “concentrate on the big issues.”

The leader of Germany also warned against protectionism and isolationism, with a thinly veiled allusion of the reign of Donald Trump, the president of the United States of America, in the White House – and perhaps also the decision of the United Kingdom to leave the European Union.

“If we are of the opinion that things are simply not fair, that there is no reciprocity, then we have to seek multilateral answers and not pursue a unilateral protectionist course where we isolate ourselves,” said Merkel.

Presenting parallels between the time today and the start of the First World War 100 years ago, Merkel stated that countries should beware of “national egotism” and absorb lessons from the past.

The speech of Merkel happened a day after global banking heads warned that markets were becoming more “complacent” and financial regulators had already run out of ammunition to fight against the next financial crisis.