'As March 29 looms ever closer, here in Germany, rabid, anti-British sentiment is part of the daily discourse.
The chattering classes — politicians and pundits alike — are urging our Chancellor, Angela Merkel, to harden her line towards the United Kingdom after suggestions that she was prepared to throw Theresa May a lifeline. Indeed last week, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, Merkel’s successor-in-waiting, led calls for Britain to scrap Brexit completely.
Germans are far from alone in this attitude. In the wake of the momentous Commons defeat for your Prime Minister’s Brexit strategy, the European Commission twisted the thumbscrews still further.
Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, suggested it was time for the UK to abandon its ‘red lines’ over ending freedom of movement and the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice.
Yet these issues have been unshakable stipulations for the British since the beginning of talks. To casually propose dumping them in this way was insulting to your country.
The French president, Emmanuel Macron, was, regrettably, similarly dismissive when he said that Brexit was a British problem and one it would have to solve on its own.
Such blinkered and sour responses are, in my view, wrong-headed. They ignore the great debt that Germany, and the whole Continent, owes our friends across the Channel.'
Read more: We Germans owe Britain a great debt — and should let you leave Europe with the concessions you need and your heads held high, writes Alexander Von Schoenburg
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21 July 2019
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