German finance minister offers Brexit lifeline to UK on trade

The German finance minister, Christian Lindner, has extended a Brexit lifeline to the UK on trade agreements with the European Union.

Lindner has urged the British to take “new steps” in order to develop fresh relations in the current post-Brexit era that is still very apparent but to an extent sidelined from the headlines by the ongoing and emerging conflicts in Ukraine and Israel/Palestine, respectively.

In addition to that, an uncertain domestic situation in the UK means that Rishi Sunak’s ruling Conservative government could be replaced by a Labour administration over the course of the next 12 months.

However, a hand has been extended by the Free Democratic Party leader – who also serves as German finance minister – for the UK to build trade relations with the EU.

In a BBC interview on the fringes of the IMF and World Bank’s annual meetings in Marrakech, Morocco, Lindner stressed his position that Brexit was not working for the UK with the impression that Germany is willing to sit around the negotiating table to improve the situation.

“If you want to intensify your trade relationship with the EU, call us!”

“In the daily life of German corporates, there are new obstacles since Brexit. I don’t think the UK is benefiting from Brexit,” he said.

“We really appreciate the United Kingdom and its values, its people and I would really, really appreciate it if we can intensify (trading) again.”

The message from Lindner will be welcomed by many, just as others will be firm in their rejection of the thought of opening up any further Brexit negotiations.

UK EU trade losses

However, as shown by the Northern Ireland situation, the matter is not cut and dry, there will always be dialogue and discussion between the UK and EU.

Lindner’s firm message on trade obstacles is highlighted by further details in the BBC article by Faisal Islam which sets out that the UK dropped from being Germany’s third most important export partner to eighth. In terms of mutual trade, the UK is no longer in the top 10 of Germany’s partners which speaks volumes.

The motor industry has been heavily affected with car exports from the EU to the UK almost halved, slashing €10bn (£8.6bn) off the balance sheets.

Islam further indicated that red tape is set to be more prohibitive in relation to incoming tariffs on the trade of some electric vehicles, which do not qualify for the post-Brexit Trade and Co-operation Agreement with the EU.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. Do remember to come back and check The Euro Weekly News website for all your up-to-date local and international news stories and remember, you can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Written by

Graeme Hanna

Graeme is a freelance writer based in Belfast, Northern Ireland who has been writing full-time for the last three years. He specialises in football and Rangers FC in particular, as well as being on top of news and trending matters. His work has been published in titles such as Rangers Review, Give Me Sport, Manchester Evening News, MyLondon and the Belfast News Letter.