BERLIN (Rahnuma): A “no deal” scenario, in which Britain ceases to be a member of the European Union on March 29 2019 without having secured an agreement on their subsequent ties, would be the “by far worst possible version” of Brexit, a senior German politician has warned.
David McAllister, a senior Christian Democratic Union (CDU) politician and close ally of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, is a dual British and German citizen himself, and acts as chair of the European Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee, as well as vice-president of the European People’s Party.
“Now it would be important to reach an exit agreement until November 21st in order to be able to determine a future partnership in sufficient time,” the 45-year-old former governor of Lower Saxony added in an interview with Xinhua.
McAllister’s warning comes shortly after an EU summit in Salzburg, Austria failed to produce a breakthrough on the still unresolved issue of the Irish border. Such a solution is urgently needed to finalize negotiations on a transition period from March onwards during which he detailed parameters of a future relationship can be established.
EU leaders have repeatedly warned that they cannot compromise key principles of the single market in order to accommodate a member state that is leaving the club. The preferred “Chequers” proposal of British Prime Minister Theresa May arguably seeks just that as a “bespoke” agreement in which Britain would leave the EU single market and customs union while retaining many of its benefits.
Confronted with British media reports of her “humiliation” in Salzburg because EU leaders rebuffed Chequers as “unworkable”, May has threatened that she is prepared to leave the bloc with no deal at all, rather than what she would consider to be a “bad deal.” For McAllister, however, a no-deal outcome would be the worst of all words, further aggravating the “serious mistake” of Brexit.
“Brexit only has negative consequences for all sides involved, a classical lose-lose-situation. An orderly Brexit is the best of all available options,” McAllister said. “We didn’t ask for this divorce, now let’s make the best of it.”
Speaking to Xinhua, McAllister was unwilling to bet that the current British developments would ultimately prevent a disorderly Brexit, or Brexit from occurring at all. “Of course, one must also prepare oneself for a no-deal scenario,” he said.