GERMANY set the stage for a post-Brexit trade war by demanding the EU quickly wraps up a dozen deals around the world.
Terrified over the burgeoning relationship between Theresa May and Donald Trump, Europe’s main economic power urged Brussels to launch a deal-making spree.
German officials warned EU finance ministers at a meeting in Brussels yesterday that urgent action is needed over perceived threats posed by Brexit and Trump’s presidency.
Finance minister Thomas Steffen sent a document to other EU states urging them to tie up 12 free trade deals with countries including China and Australia as quickly as possible.
In an apparent dig to Trump’s economic strategy, the document urges European leaders to “give a timely push against protectionism”.
Merkel is said to be frustrated with her inability to connect with Donald Trump.
The Prime Minister's relationship with Trump is understood to be causing concern among EU leaders.
The move indicates growing nerves over the increased bargaining power a post-Brexit deal for Britain with the US could give to the Prime Minister.
It also highlights building tensions between Trump and Angela Merkel – who is understood to be frustrated over her inability to engage with the US President.
Far from the experience Mrs May enjoyed at the White House yesterday, the German chancellor will have to settle for a short phone call with Trump later today.
Trump has been criticised for adopting "protectionist" economic policies.
Government Loses Brexit Vote Appeal
Tue, January 24, 2017
Britain's most senior judges ruled that Prime Minister Theresa May does not have the power to trigger the formal process Article 50 for the UK's exit from the European Union without Parliament having a say.
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Issued by the Supreme Court of (top row, from the left) Lord Neuberger, Lord Mance, Lord Kerr, Lord Sumption, (bottom row, from the left) Lady Hale, Lord Clarke, Lord Wilson and Lord Hodge, who agreed with the majority decision that the Government could not trigger Article 50 without Parliamentary approval.
President Trump told the Prime Minister he believed Brexit would be a “wonderful thing” for Britain during her first visit to the White House yesterday.
He added that he saw the two of them would have a “fantastic relationship” working alongside one another.
A German diplomatic source told the Daily Mail: “We think it is important that the 27 remaining member states after Brexit stick together and back up our belief, which is in free trade.”
While the official denied the document was drawn up with the US in mind, Brussels bureaucrats this week warned the UK it will have to wait for Brexit terms to be agreed before negotiating trade deals with other countries.
Some Europhiles complained that talks could breach EU treaty obligations – but Chancellor Philip Hammond assured leaders the UK would “play by the rules”.