Brexit: What it means for Germany

gerflagAnd then it happened. What everyone thought unthinkable, became reality. In a Referendum on Thursday last week The United Kingdom decided to leave the European Union – a concept for peace and economic prosperity after a century of worldwide war and conflict. The country that benefitted the most from this Concept directly after the war was without doubt Germany. Within a few decades it managed to turn from a economically and socially devastated, hardly independent nation, to likely the richest and most important country in the union.

The EU is extremely important for Germany and ever since the economic crisis in 2008 started to destabilize it, Chancellor Merkel and her Government has been trying to pull the parts together. Yet another challenge arose when the EU Migrant Crisis suddenly shocked the continent in 2014. And the UK wasn’t the most loyal partner in helping to cope with the huge influx of refugees. Nevertheless, it seemed as though Germany, France, Britain and Italy made up the core of the institution. As of last Thursday, one of the Ground Stones has been removed and the is really falling apart.

Chancellor Merkel, sees the situation unexpectedly matter-of-fact. She advised the Country to follow through with the exit as soon as time permits and not to rush into anything either. She also, unlike many other german politicians, wants to avoid any change in contract. Although Great Britain is a very important political partner, and the Brexit is really a deep incision for the union, Merkel pledged she is confident the union will survive without the kingdom and the countries relations will stay strong (she mentioned NATO as one of the key political partnerships)

The UK, is Germany’s 3rd most important trade partner, and the EU has made trade between the countries fairly easy. Now things will definitely change, especially if the country decides to abandon any of the Basic Freedoms of the EU: Free movement of goods, services, capital, and most important of all people. The EU Commission has mentioned that they will not allow UK Participation in the internal market, if they – as expected – tighten their restrictions of immigration to avoid having to cope with the millions refugees arriving in Europe. As the vote last Thursday has shown, anything can happen and the future is as blurry as the mediterranean sea.

 

 

by Pauline Fritz