A group of German business leaders and politicians has called for the European Union to persuade Britain to reverse Brexit by offering a comprehensive deal on immigration and free movement.
Under the slogan “Exit from Brexit: a new deal for Britain and the EU”, the group of seven influential figures warned that Germany must do more to prevent losing “its most valuable partner within the EU”.
“Basically, we want the EU to offer the deal David Cameron was looking for before the referendum,” Hans-Olaf Henkel, a senior German MEP and one of the leaders of the initiative said.
“We want to offer Britain the right to stop people who have no jobs entering the country and entering its social welfare system.”
Mr Henkel said the aim of the initiative was to stop Brexit from happening, but he was also prepared to push for a better deal if Britain decides to leave.
“If Brexit does go ahead, I would be happy if this initiative leads to a better deal,” he said. “For me, a bad deal is the worst possible outcome. The best is to stop Brexit, but second best is a good deal.”
“The collapse of talks could help if we can persuade one of the parties to adopt this as policy,” Mr Henkel said.
For now, the initiative has no party backing. Mr Henkel is joined by two former heads of the BDI, Germany’s equivalent of the CBI, and Hans-Werner Sinn, one of Germany’s leading economists.
“The EU’s unwillingness to curtail the social inclusion principle for EU migrants, as demanded by Prime Minister Cameron, has contributed to the disastrous Brexit decision for Europe,” Prof Sinn said. “There is much to suggest that Cameron was right with his request.”
Prof Sinn said benefits should be paid by EU citizens’ home countries even if they moved to another member state.
“It wasn’t only Britain deciding to leave the EU, it was the EU which decided to leave Britain,” Mr Henkel said.
“We need Britain as a counterweight to Juncker and Barnier, and the people who want a ’United States of Europe’. We don’t want that: we want an EU of sovereign nations.”
Article Source : http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/11/20/stop-brexit-happening-german-business-leaders-tell-eu/