Why this is important
Exit of Brexit: A „New Deal“ with Great Britain and a better future for the EU
We, the undersigned, are deeply concerned about the economic
and political impact Brexit will have on Britain and the EU. We believe that mistakes made by both sides will lead to a highly detrimental situation for citizens and companies on both sides.
In our view, too often Brussels violated the principles of subsidiarity, self-responsibility and competitiveness laid down in the Lisbon treaty. This helped to create the base for the British referendum in the first place. By refusing to offer the necessary flexibility to let Britain control its immigration, Brussels contributed to the outcome.
In Britain, on the other hand, advocates for Brexit failed to communicate the true impact Brexit would have on the economy. Those who campaigned for remaining failed to spell out the advantages of being a part of the EU, especially the common market and research programmes.
Meanwhile, the ongoing negotiations show that both parties have underestimated the complexity of Brexit. It also emerged that keeping the border open between Ireland and Northern Ireland without Britain’s continuing membership in a common market may become impossible. This entails significant risks for peace on the island.
Buying more time will not address the basic fact that if not stopped, Brexit will result in an outright lose-lose situation for both the EU and Britain. More than ever, the EU needs the pragmatic British voice to counter the increasing pressure to centralise, socialise and harmonise. That is why we feel obliged to stop two high-speed trains running towards each other on the same railroad track and appeal to all responsible politicians, business people and citizens: Help us to avoid a tragedy of historical dimensions!
Addressing the European Parliament on 24th October 2017, Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, has opened the possibility of “no Brexit”. This gives us the encouragement to ask the leaders of the European Union to recognize their responsibility for a political turnaround by offering the British a New Deal, focussing on more autonomy, especially in the area of immigration. We remind them of the fact that following the British referendum there has been a remarkable shift among European governments in this sensitive subject anyway.
Likewise, we appeal to London to recognise that it underestimated the complexities of Brexit and its economic and political drawbacks. With a New Deal from the EU, Britain will be able to claim that it finally got what it really wanted.
This would also be a New Deal for all other EU member states recognizing the new realities. Not only could they benefit from the continued membership of Britain in the future, they would likewise benefit from more flexibility and autonomy.
Roland Berger, Hans‐Olaf Henkel, Klaus‐Michael Kühne, Michael Rogowski, Manfred Schneider, Hans‐Werner Sinn, Heinrich Weiss