Findings, music, and occasional reflections by Paul Woodward

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From a no-deal Brexit to a no-Brexit deal

Hans-Werner Sinn writes:

With the recent signing of the Treaty of Aachen, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have renewed the Franco-German friendship pact and taken an important and necessary step forward for Europe. But the United Kingdom should not have been left out.

The UK is an integral part of Europe; as the European Union’s second-largest economy, its GDP equals that of the 19 smallest EU member states combined. Its exodus thus would shake Europe to its core and destroy the European post-war order.

Moreover, it is worth remembering that in 1963, the Bundestag prefaced the Élysée Treaty with a preamble stipulating that Germany hoped to bring Britain into the European Economic Community; in 1973, that is precisely what happened. A similar overture to Britain would be no less appropriate today.

As it happens, the leaders of Germany’s three largest political parties, as well as business leaders and members of the public, recently published an open letter inviting the British people to stay in the EU. Given this, it is not inconceivable that the Bundestag could adopt a resolution along the same lines.

Now that British Prime Minister Theresa May’s negotiated exit treaty has been soundly defeated in the House of Commons, all options are on the table. The looming tragedy of Brexit could still be averted at the last minute. [Continue reading…]

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