Brexit would exclude UK from single market, says German Minister

By Joe Mellor, Deputy Editor

As the EU referendum gets ever closer, everyone possible is chipping in with their opinion on what would happen after the votes are counted later this month.

Now German finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble said that a Brexit vote would one and for all mean ‘Out is Out’ for access to the EU single market.

He has ruled out any chance Britain would have to use the European single market for trading, which is exactly the opposite of what the Leave campaign and its figurehead Boris Johnson claimed.

His comments come from an edition of German weekly Der Spiegel. Norway does have access to the single market and isn’t an EU country, however they must allow freedom of movement for EU citizens, which most Brexiteers would not want to agree to. For many of the Vote Leave camp the free movement of EU citizens is one of the main reasons for wanted to leave the European project in the first place.

He told Der Spiegel: “If the majority in Britain opts for Brexit, that would be a decision against the single market. In is in. Out is out. One has to respect the sovereignty of the British people.”

In the interview, Mr Schäuble also said that in the event of Brexit, Europe could “work without if Britain. At some point the British will realise they have taken the wrong decision,” he said. “And then we will accept them back one day if that’s what they want.

He was concerned what a Brexit result would cause shockwaves across the other EU nations, perhaps other countries might want to follow suit and decide leave the single market could benefit them as well.

He said: “How, for example, would the Netherlands react, as a country that has traditionally had very close ties to Britain?” he questioned. “It is important for the EU to send the message that is has understood the vote and it is prepared to learn from it.”

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