8 January 2015

€15bn

UK is an important ally for Germany

Writing in the Telegraph, Mats argues, “There is a range of obvious reasons why Germany would want to keep the UK in the EU. Without Britain, the EU market would shrink by 15 per cent; some €284 billion in EU exports could face extra costs; the EU budget would be some €15 billion lighter; and the bloc would lose one of its only two serious military powers.”

EU without Britain will be more protectionist

He adds, “But if Germany is scared of losing the UK now, it should be petrified about 2017. First, for Berlin, being left alone in the EU with an assertive Mediterranean bloc is becoming an increasingly scary prospect…Without the UK, the EU will, on aggregate, be far more hostile to free trade, and Germany will have lost its key political counterweight to the southern protectionist bloc.”

In a Europe struggling with sluggish growth, weak governments and rising populists, an Anglo-German bargain for sweeping EU reform is no longer only desirable. It is absolutely necessary. Even if you are based in Berlin.

Mats Persson, The Telegraph