Brexiteers pinning their hopes on a Merkel victory need to take a reality check

While some on the right expect a Merkel win to be good for Britain, Germans are not minded to give Theresa May a friendly deal.

With just days to go until Germany heads to the polls, lampposts are filled with campaign posters containing photos of candidates from an array of different parties starring down at drivers and passers-by. One however sticks out more than others – that of CDU Leader, Angela Merkel, seeking a fourth term in office.

Her photo gives the impression of strong and stable leadership in a way that Theresa May could only dream of. But in this case it is genuine.

Having weathered criticism over her stance towards the refugee crisis just a few years ago, barring some miracle, Merkel is set to be returned to power, either continuing the grand coalition with the SPD, or forming a so called Jamaica coalition with the liberal FDP and potentially the Greens.

And while the far right, Alternative for Deutschland are expected to make an unwelcome appearance in the next German Parliament, potentially even as the main opposition, don’t be mistaken,  Frau Merkel is set to continue her position dominating the European Union.

For many of the  hard Brexiteers back in the UK, the prospect of a Merkel victory cannot come soon enough, arguing that once she is through the election, she will have to ensure the EU strikes a favourable deal with the UK. Those who do would do well to enter reality from the fantasy land they now inherit.

Firstly, Brexit has been mentioned hardly at all during the German elections, with hardening lines over potential Turkish entry into the EU, immigration and other domestic policy issues at the fore.

Secondly, one only has to see the words that she has shared with President Macron in France to see and understand that what will matter to Chancellor Merkel in her fourth term will be deeper integration within the EU, rather than deal-making with the UK.

Both have backed the idea of an Economy and Finance Minister being created for the Eurozone, in an effort to provide greater coherence across the bloc.  Merkel has also called for a new European Monetary Fund aimed at redistributing money within the euro zone area to where it is needed.

Add to that add the words of senior FDP politician, Michael Theurer, tipped as a potential Minister for the Economy in the next German Government that he does not expect fears from German business to translate into Merkel providing favours to the UK;  or indeed the words of Germany’s trade chief, Anton Börner, doubting Brexit will ever happen, and the conclusion becomes clear.

Having failed to give David Cameron the deal he wanted to win the Brexit referendum in 2016, Angela Merkel is not minded to give Theresa May, with her weakened hand in Parliament, a strong deal – whatever the Brexiteers around the cabinet in Whitehall might think.

Many of those who lead the campaign for the UK to leave the EU will be dreaming of Merkel’s return to power on Sunday, followed by an accelerated pace for talks over a Brexit deal that will give Theresa May all that she has called for.  Those that do so would do well to take a reality check, and a cold shower for such dreams will remain just that.

Ed Jacobs is a Contributing Editor for Left Foot Forward.

2 Responses to “Brexiteers pinning their hopes on a Merkel victory need to take a reality check”

  1. Will

    It’s pretty down to earth really that if you decide to drop out of a “club” then you will have to give up all of the priviliges that went with the membership. For some reason a lot of the so-called “brexiteers” feel they can leave and keep the goodies. No chance at all, not even slightly. Our feeble and useless government will have to negociate with the EU in competition with the rest of the world and I feel that we are in the weakest position ever to get a good deal once we have left. As for Boris Johnson—how can anyone ever believe anything that the inept, selfserving narcissist says? He only has one real agenda, to become more powerful, driven by his own ego—in my opinion of course!

  2. Ray Visino

    Our side has done no proper negotiating yet, only told the EU what we will do, can’t see Merkel putting up with it. So far: we are chucking out EU citizens but ours will stay there, we will have a soft border in NI, not much different from now, we will stay in some EU organisations such as those dealing with country-terrorism, crime, nuclear power and we will have a preferential trade agreement. None of these points have even been negotiated or discussed at a the meetings. Meanwhile nothing on the payment.

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