“We should take precautions” – Merkel warns of no-deal Brexit
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Chancellor Angela Merkel warns that Great Britain could leave the EU at the turn of the year without a trade agreement. In the Bundestag, she answered questions from members of parliament – including the “garbage” column of “taz”. Merkel countered with a pointed tip.
BChancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) has warned that the Brexit talks have failed. The EU must prepare to ensure that no agreement on a trade agreement with Britain is reached. “We should take precautions in the event that the agreement does not come about,” said Merkel on Wednesday before the Bundestag in Berlin.
Although she will continue to “campaign for a good solution” during the German EU Council Presidency, said Merkel. But the progress in the negotiations has so far been “to put it mildly, very clearly”.
The agreement is intended to regulate trade relations between Great Britain and the EU after Brexit. The goal is a breakthrough by October or November, because the deal still has to be ratified by the parliaments. If, however, there is no agreement by the end of the year, the tariff barriers will drop in mutual trade – another burden for the economy, which is already shaken by the Corona crisis.
Merkel also announced to the MPs that she would campaign for an agreement between the EU member states on a corona aid package. The positions here were “far apart,” she said. She wanted to “stand close to the EU bodies” in order to achieve a breakthrough quickly.
Merkel appeared on Wednesday as part of the regular government survey in the Bundestag. She was supposed to answer questions from the members of the Bundestag for an hour.
Merkel also asked about the rubbish column
When asked by the AfD parliamentary group, Merkel also commented on the rubbish column in the “taz”. Federal Minister of the Interior Horst Seehofer (CSU) initially considered a lawsuit, but did not file a lawsuit, even after consulting Merkel. With a view to speculation that the Chancellor had put pressure on the Interior Minister, she said: “I am not reporting from internal discussions.”
Seehofer took the article as an opportunity to talk to the press council and the “taz” editorial team about it. This is exactly the right way, says Merkel. “That’s how you deal with each other as Democrats,” said the Chancellor. She assured Seehofer and the police of their support. Attacks on the officials have increased, said Merkel. “This is a worrying development.”
Merkel did not comment on the column itself. “We have freedom of the press, you probably know that,” said Merkel, addressing Gottfried Curio, the questioner of the AfD parliamentary group.
Coal exit is “something big”
Merkel also defended the coal exit agreements. It was an “overall very important step that we are now taking,” said Merkel when asked by the Greens. “Something big” was created. The Bundestag will vote on the coal phase-out on Friday. Union and SPD had previously resolved the last controversial issues in coalition negotiations.
According to the phase-out law, the use of energy from lignite and hard coal is to be ended by the end of 2038 at the latest for reasons of climate protection. Advancing the exit to 2035 remains possible. The countries particularly affected by the end of lignite power generation are receiving structural aid worth 40 billion euros, according to previously agreed decisions. Unlike coal, lignite is currently still being mined in Germany.
Merkel rejected criticism from the Greens that climate protection measures had been watered down compared to the coal commission’s proposal. “In principle, we follow the exit path to some extent,” said the Chancellor. It was never said that the proposal would be implemented one to one.
The NATO incident should not be repeated
The confrontation between the ships of NATO partners France and Turkey in the Mediterranean sees Merkel as a very serious incident. “NATO is investigating what happened there,” she said. The aim now is to do everything possible to prevent such incidents from happening again among NATO member states. “This is very serious,” said Merkel.
In the incident in the Mediterranean, according to Paris, a Turkish warship had repeatedly directed its fire control radar at a French frigate. Since such systems are usually only used to provide target data for the use of weapon systems, France considered this to be “extremely aggressive” and was raised at the recent NATO Defense Ministers’ meeting.