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Germany ‘would accept UK exit from EU’

Chancellor Angela Merkel is said to have warned David Cameron that she would rather see the UK leave the EU than compromise on migration reforms.

The BBC cites an article in Der Spiegel news magazine which says the German chancellor feared Britain was reaching “the point of no return”. Merkel has reportedly made clear she will no longer support the UK’s continued membership of the EU if Cameron pushes to renegotiate the principle of free movement.

This is said to be the first time Merkel has admitted the possibility of a UK exit from the EU.

The Sunday Times reported last week that Merkel has already rejected a plan that would have seen quotas on low-skilled EU migrants by limiting the national insurance numbers issued to them.

Downing Street has not commented.


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There are 36 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Once again we see Germany trying to bully another member of the EU rather than to listen to rationale and be prepared to negotiate. It is Obvious from Merkel’s stance it’s either her way or ‘the highway,. I personally would prefer to go it alone and look after the UK rather than the EU because after all we have enough of our own issues to deal with without having to fund all of the former eastern bloc countries.

  2. .Be careful what you wish for. Once blackballed from the club there will be no more re-entry. Whatever your views I would have thought it would be far better to be a dissenting voice from within than risk being a commercially disadvantaged pariah from without.

  3. So we may be permitted to leave the 4th Reich – Bravo! It was always far too parochial for the UK abyway

  4. Michael.White.BoutiqueCapital - Bridging Loans 3rd November 2014 at 10:15 am

    Agreed…. The UK needs to exit the ‘GermanZone’ sooner rather then later.

  5. Michael.White.BoutiqueCapital - Bridging Loans 3rd November 2014 at 10:27 am

    A ‘club ‘which particularly benefits and is dominated by Germany. A club where if the UK had adopted the Euro we would also be seeking Merkel’s permission for everything as the French, Italian and Spanish now do.

    The model is quite simply broken, the current success of the UK has everything to do with retaining a degree of autonomy by retaining sterling and nothing to do with the mess that is the Eurozone.

    I am very happy that Merkel has given us one particiular ‘permission’ and that is to leave HER club…..

  6. Agree with Harry – going off in a huff over this issue would be economic madness.

  7. @ Harry 10.03. I could agree with your point of a dissenting voice if that voice had any real influence to make a difference in the club, but it doesn’t. Most of the club members have a general dislike of the UK anyway, they vote against us unless our proposal is of benefit to them too. Given that the proposals the UK make in Europe are supposed to try to benefit us, it invariably means that it will be to others detriment and so the whole process is purely aesthetic. I honestly believe that leaving the EU will make little difference commercially – they will still trade with UK in the same way as they do now as those who buy from us do so for purely beneficial commercial reasons. They like what we are selling. Just because we would be out of the club, I truly believe the same would apply post any exit. It may have been different if we had joined the disastrous Euro but thankfully we didn’t so currency exchange would have the same consequence then was now and any exchange rate is unlikely to be affected simply if we leave.
    I do agree with you that once out we can never go back and if Tories get back in (another story on its own) then I do hope we vote to leave.
    The EU will not allow the transfer of legal powers back to UK as this will weaken their position, as other members will want to do the same thing. The UK’s stated preference of a change immigration rules are unlikely to be agreed to as it goes against one of the first principles of the EU. Considering these are two of the biggest issues UK citizens have concerns about, upon which, there will be (or is hugely unlikely to be) any compromise by the EU generally but Germany specifically, we really do need to get out, stay out and get on with building our own success. IMHO as always

  8. Let’s get out and stay out. Anecdotally at least, that’s what a majority of the UK populace would vote for anyway, were they to be given the opportunity. Cameron and all the other Europhiles must surely know this.

    I’m unaware of a single one of the countries who’ve not joined wringing their hands and wishing they had. They must be looking on from outside and shaking their heads at what a mess it all seems to be. The only countries that still want to join are those attracted by the prospect of hand outs from other member states.

    The Eurozone experiment has been a monumentally expensive failure and the sooner we disengage totally from it, the better. The idea of a United States of Europe to rival that of America was never going to work.

    Will Cameron actually give us the promised referendum or will events overtake him and the UK find itself being given an ultimatum to conform or quit?

  9. For crying out loud, I wish DC would make a bloody decision and stick with it !!

    Have a referendum like Scotland, let the people make the choice and be done with it

  10. We are the 6th or 7th largest economy in the world and will overtake Germany in the near future. Why do we need to shackle ourselves to an undemocratic monstrosity that none of us ever voted for!! Remember when the likes of Nick Clegg told us that we were doomed if we didn’t join the Euro? Funny how they’ve all been very quiet on the currency front of late!!

    Let’s get out, trade with the world and control our own destiny, we are GREAT BRITAIN after all!

  11. Cameron is a very weak leader, and the Conservatives deserve a better figurehead and one that will not make false promises. No one knows what Milliband has to say as it changes with the weather. The British public will not trust either of these two. The Liberal Democrats don’t even seem to know what they stand for anymore and coalition has seen them sell many of their values away. The British public have had enough of bailing out the EU, so if Merkel want’s to ‘blackball’ us let her do it and let Farage lead the way. at least he seems to say what the British public feels.

  12. @ Julian

    You obviously don’t know a lot of Norwegian exporters. True the majority in Norway aren’t concerned – after all Norway is exceedingly rich, but their manufacturing base has been declining at an alarming rate and they rely ever more on their natural resource – oil which has made them one of the richest countries in the world.

    Their sovereign wealth fund keeps them well afloat – but if you are a Norwegian businessman who used to have a factory which had to rely on exports (their home market isn’t even as big as Manchester- then indeed you are wringing your hands – if you haven’t already gone bust. Manufactured goods in Norway now account for 0.4% of GDP. Pretty pathetic. Is that what we have in store?

    The costs of our wine, our BMWs and Mercs and all the other imports from the EU will then become as expensive as they were before we joined. I well recall people brewing their own in the 70’s. and paying a significant amount more for our imported cars. As I said be careful what you wish for.

    Anyway no one will do anything until after May and it is by no means a given that the Tories will get in. I believe you are a UKIP fan and if you vote for them it will almost guarantee a Labour victory resulting in no referendum.

  13. I think we need to base a massive decision like cutting ourselves off from the huge market for our goods and services that is less than 25 miles for better reasons that –

    1. Anecdotal evdience
    2. Because the name of our country happens to have ‘Great’ in it

  14. @Smithy0364 the EU sells far more to us than we do to them, that is a fact not anecdotal evidence. Also factual is the uncomfortable truth for europhiles that the EU’s GDP as a share of world trade has fallen significantly and will fall further over the next 10-20 years. Wise political leaders of whatever colour would not want to shackle themselves to a dying trade partner, let alone one that doesn’t believe in democracy!

  15. @James Marchant Last ONS stats (Feb 2013) – 50% of our exports go to the EU, and 51% of our imports come from the EU… hardly ‘far more’, and it still says that we’ll be cutting ourselves off from HALF our export market, plus increasing export costs to alternative markets.

    We any alternative export market, we run the risk of them imposing tarrif barriers to suit their own economic ends over ours – that can’t happen with the EU.

    The EU isn’t perfect – proponents never pretend it is, so opponents should stop insisting it has to be.

  16. @ James Marchant

    You would do well to heed Smithy0364. And you rather give yourself away by brining up the old ‘Democracy’ argument. Remember democracy only panders to the lowest common denominator in the end. And if you think we are democratic in the UK you must be dreaming.

  17. What was it someone once said, there are statistics, statistics and lies and all we seem to get from those wanting us to stay in the German Union sorry the European Union is statistics………

  18. @Derek
    The phrase is “lies, damn lies and statistics”. Still, it’s better to use statistics within a reasoned discussion than rely on soundbites, naked xenophobia and fantasy…

    I think the EU accolytes also overblow their side too. The EU countries exporting into the UK will not want to give up their business with us any more any more than we do with them. It will continue inside or outside the EU just the same as it does with 50% of our current trade. The dynamics will change a bit but that’s all.

    In truth no one knows what will happen until if and when it does. I doubt it will be a disaster or a generous blessing either. Just different.

  19. @Smithy0364 that would be the same ONS stats that include UK global exports going through Rotterdam as UK trade with the EU!

    @HarryKatz I see that you’ve swallowed Tory spin hook line and sinker which rather gives away your position too!

  20. @ James Marchant

    Tory spin! Good grief I hope not – I don’t believe a single word from any of them. My epithet for Westminster is the ‘Gas Works’.

    I see that there is a fair sprinkling of German antipathy, brought on no doubt by the highly unusual position (a first since the mid-19th Century I believe) that we are currently doing better than them.

    Perhaps the following (damn) statistics might prove salutary:

    GDP GDP Per
    Per Head Head Purchasing power parity (US = 100)

    Holland $45,990 83.7
    Belgium $43,430 78.4
    Germany $42,630 82.5
    France $39,770 71.1
    UK $38,920 60.0
    Italy $33,840 67.5

    Italy might have a lower GDP but their PPP is much better than ours.

    Now who’s swallowed Tory spin?

  21. Democracy – Where two idiots outvote a genius.

  22. Oh Harry we can trade statistical data here all night of you like, I’ve got plenty up my sleeve to come back to you on. The simple and unequivical truth is that Ted Heath signed us up to what was put to the British public as a trading relationship.It was nothing of the sort and Heath knew it, he lied to the British public and subsequent governments of all colours have been lying to us since. I don’t know about you but I never gave my permission for any government to give away power and national sovereignty to a group of unelected bureaucrats in Brussels. That is the crux of the matter, do we want to be an independent trading nation in control of our borders our finances and our destiny or just be a star on somebody else’s flag with no power and at the whim of a continual flood of petty EU dictats. I know which one I choose!

  23. Matthew

    Quite so

  24. @James Marchant

    If you get your way I’ll wave from my home in the South of France or the Balerics.

  25. @Harry Katz now France, there is a complete basket case if ever I saw one!!!

  26. @James Marchant. No doubt this comes with first hand experience as a frequent traveller, mixing with businesses and workers and able to speak the language fluently. Or is it just what you have read?

    And what difference does that make anyway if you live there in retirement?

  27. Personally I share Churchillls view of a united Europe – it’s a good thing, but we shouldn’t have been part of it. However, that said we are where we are, and I’m wary that we’re too far down the road to sensibly back up.

    Again – and only anecodtally and from a personal perspective, I find it’s not so much legitimate EU migration that worries most folk, it’s illegal migration and benefit tourism (which may or may not be in reality quite the problem it’s purported to be).

    As for democracy being two idiots outvoting a genious, I’m not entirely sure all the voters are idiots, or all the politicos are geniouses (should that be geneii??), but the point is well made – too many folk just go on gut instinct, what we need is reasoned debate with impartial facts. Sadly, I don’t see enough of that around.

  28. Strangely enough Harry I spend a lot of time in the south of France, my best friend lives in Marseille!!

  29. “I’m not entirely sure all the voters are idiots” No they are not – only about 85% are.

    You want to see idiots – drive in any town for 15 minutes. See people searching aimlessly for their seats in a cinema and theatre. Just assess the most popular programmes on the TV. Which daily papers are the most popular? Which magazines are the most widely read? It won’t take long to realise that the life guard was off duty at the Gene Pool.

  30. @chipping. I couldn’t agree more. If we can have a proper referendum and debate with proper facts and not just what people want us to hear or lies to put us off voting one way or the other then I would be all for it. However, the yes/no referendum in Scotland has proven how many politicians are prepared to blatantly lie to the public to get their way. Another example is the Lisbon treaty vote in Eire which they made the southern Irish people keep having until they voted the way the EU wanted them to. Yet another example is the vote looking at the way we vote in the UK with Cameron saying babies will die if we stop with the first past the post voting system. Sadly I don’t believe any of the present so called big three parties will give a proper honest debate on this important matter of an in or out of the EU.

  31. All we need to do then Harry, is find that 15% and let them make the correct decision for us!!

  32. @ Chipping

    Maybe Harry is that 15% and we should just listen to him and take it for granted he is right ?

    As the rest of us 85%, cant be trusted to make any correct decisions, as we all read the wrong papers magazines or cant find the right seats, and as for the gene pool bit we probably (in Harrys world) live in small villages, eat cow pats, walk with webbed feet and have 3 thumbs ?

  33. @Harry Katz 4 November 2014 12:12 pm

    What an ingnorant comment, I am sure you arent but you do seem to come across as a rather a silly and foolish man. Still, whatever makes you happy…..

  34. This may seem a little odd, but as a “floating” voter, I’d actaully be quite happy to leave the decision to an impartial well informed body who would take a balanced decision based on an informed knowledge of all the relevant facts and issues.

    Sadly though, the devil in the detail would be in finding such an august body (not to say of course that I’m probably in a minority of one in taking that view!!)

  35. spelling ignorant as ingorant is obviously an ignorant mistake on my part!

  36. OK let’s go. Bye Mrs Merkel. Have a nice Reich.

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