Germany will stand firm with the EU27 over Brexit, a German MP has warned
With the European Parliament voting in favour of taking a tough line on Brexit, Angela Merkel is standing firm with the EU27.
Seizing on calls to make the EU stronger in the wake of Britain leaving the bloc, German lawmakers focused on upcoming negotiations refuse to bow to any of Theresa May’s demands, believing Brussels has the upper hand.
Cem Özdemir, head of the opposition Green Party, said: “One is leaving — but 27 are staying.
The EU27 has decided to represent its interests together. From now on, London fights on its own
“The EU27 has decided to represent its interests together. From now on, London fights on its own.”
His comments echo European Council president Donald Tusk and Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, who holds the Union's rotating presidency.
Mr Tusk and Mr Muscat insist the EU will negotiate "as one", through their chief negotiator, former French foreign minister Michel Barnier.
One German government official told Politico London has overestimated its power at the negotiating table.
The official said: “They pretend to hold jokers in their hands.
“This doesn’t seem very plausible, considering they already have to play the terrorism card.”
The Prime Minister’s Article 50 letter stating a failure to reach an agreement “would mean our cooperation in the fight against crime and terrorism would be weakened” was widely interpreted as blackmail.
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Cem Özdemir said London will fight on its own during Brexit
Donald Tusk insists the EU27 will act as one
MP Detlef Seif branded the comments “an extraordinarily primitive attempt at blackmailing us”.
Others claim Germany remains indifferent to Brexit, with a debate on the issue in the Bundestag sparsely attended.
MP Jens Zimmermann said: “The mood here is different.”
Liz Kendall says Brexit is not a priority for Germans
Labour MP Liz Kendall said Britain must understand Germany’s priorities with talks expected to begin in June.
Miss Kendall, who visited Berlin last month to meet German government officials, said: “When you’re doing a negotiation… you also have to understand the priorities of your partners, and I’m afraid we’ve got a collective failure to do that at the moment.
Brexit day: images from around the country as Britain invokes Article 50 Mon, April 3, 2017
The country reacts as Theresa May officially invokes Article 50, and begins the process of Britain leaving the European Union
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Pro-EU demonstrators protest outside Parliament
“Brexit actually isn’t a massive priority for the Germans.
“We, here, are understandably and rightly obsessing about it.
“But it’s not the thing that’s top of their agenda. The world doesn’t revolve around us.”