The European Union faces an uncertain future due to the coronavirus pandemic which has crippled economies around the world. Both German Chancellor
The European Union faces an uncertain future due to the coronavirus pandemic which has crippled economies around the world. Both German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President, Emmanuel Macron have pushed for a huge €750billion (£676billion) package to help European states recover from the coronavirus pandemic. Germany also takes up its presidency of the EU Council this month.
However, with Germany now taking a more prominent role in Europe, Green politician Franziska Brantner warned “German arrogance” may be the biggest threat to the bloc’s future.
In an interview for Germany publication, T-Online she said: “We have to be careful with the arrogance that sometimes radiates from Germany.
“This claim, ‘if everyone were just like us, everything would be good’.
“You can find this in all parties, not just the Greens and the Conservatives.
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“Perhaps this form of arrogance is the greatest threat to the European Union.”
This warning comes as the UK and EU passed the deadline to extend the transition period to Brexit trade talks on June 30.
Both sides pledged to intensify talks going forward and Boris Johnson has even indicated a deal could be struck this month.
On the EU side, the bloc’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier declared there had been little progress in talks since January.
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Ms Merkel has even called for the EU to plan for a no deal Brexit due to the lack of progression in negotiations.
Speaking on Wednesday, Ms Merkel said: “To put it mildly, progress in the negotiations has been very limited.
“I will continue to press for a good solution.
“But we in the EU and also in Germany must and should prepare for the event that an agreement is not reached after all.”
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While Mr Johnson has pushed for a deal by July, leaked internal documents from the German government have suggested talks will drag on until September.
Seen by Reuters, the leaked document read: “From September, the negotiations enter a hot phase.
“Britain is already escalating threats in Brussels, wants to settle as much as possible in the shortest possible time and hopes to achieve last-minute success in the negotiations.”
A No 10 spokesman insisted talks cannot continue into the autumn and that progress would need to be made quickly.
EU-UK trade negotiations
The Prime Minister warned last weekend, the UK could walk away from talks if a deal is not reached soon.
Following talks with Poland’s Prime Minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, Mr Johnson reiterated the UK may well leave negotiations on the same terms Australia has with the bloc.
Australia doesn’t have an agreed free trade agreement with the EU but multiple bilateral treaties.
Due to that, some have claimed leaving on Australia terms would be similar to a no deal Brexit.
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If neither side can agree a deal by the end of the year, the UK will depart the EU on World Trade Organisation terms.
A No 10 spokeswoman said: “On the UK’s future relationship with the EU, the Prime Minister welcomed the agreement on both sides to an intensified process of negotiations in July.
“He said the UK would negotiate constructively but equally would be ready to leave the transition period on Australia terms if agreement could not be reached.”
Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg.