Brexit talks may have to wait until the after a German government is formed
Alex de Ruyter, director of the Centre for Brexit Studies at Birmingham City University, has said that German elections mean Brexit trade negotiators may have to wait until a new a new leader is installed in the country before talks may begin.
Mr de Ruyter says that although Germans head to the polls on September 24, the country’s electoral system means multiple parties may have to form a coalition.
But since the reunification of Germany in 1990, it has taken an average of a month and a half to form a government after the lower house of the parliament – the Bundestag – is elected.
It takes an average of a month and a half to form a coalition in the Bundestag
Elections in France next month could also lead to Brexit talks being delayed.
Mr de Ruyter said: “With the impending French presidential elections and the German federal elections coming up over the next few months, it is likely that no real discussions over Britain’s withdrawal from the EU will take place until after November this year.”
Brexit Negotiations: Britain's sternest enemies
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According to a new index, the EU27 countries fall into three groups: hard-core, hard and soft. These are the countries with the highest scores which indicate a fairly strong opposition to Britain’s position
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France has the highest score in the index at 32.5
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It is likely that no real discussions over Britain’s withdrawal from the EU will take place until after November this year
Alex de Ruyter
But this year’s vote could be even more complicated.
Opinion polls suggest the popularity of current Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) has plummeted, with a surge in support for anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD).
Social Democrat leader Martin Schulz could trounce Mrs Merkel in elections this September
The presence of six parties in the Bundestag could mean the creation of a coalition will be more difficult.
But negotiators from both the UK and the EU have previously stated talks must be wrapped up by the end of 2018 in order for an exit deal to be ratified by the Brexit deadline of March 29, 2019.
Current polling in Germany paints a grim photo for Mrs Merkel.
Surveys by German pollsters indicate voters may reject Mrs Merkel’s party in favour of Martin Schulz’s Social Democrats (SDP) in the key state of Saarland in western Germany.
The state is staunchly Catholic and has been run by the CDU for 18 years.
And last month, a shock poll found that 45 per cent of interviewees want a new federal government formed by centre-left Mr Schulz.