Wednesday 23 August 2017

'British believe fairy tale they'll be better off after Brexit' - German minister

Germany's Europe minister Michael Roth
Germany's Europe minister Michael Roth

Gavin Cordon

The British government should abandon the "fairy tale" that it will be better off after Brexit, Germany's Europe minister has said.

Michael Roth made the claim in both English and German on Twitter.

"The British government must finally say goodbye to the fairy tale that after Brexit everything will go better for all Britons," he wrote in his native tongue.

Reverting to English he changed the words "fairy tale" to "myth".

His public intervention added to several recent criticisms from senior German politicians about the UK government's approach towards the Brexit negotiations.

His comments came as the Green Party in the UK is to say voters should be given the chance to change their minds on leaving the European Union in a second referendum.

Party co-leader Caroline Lucas will promise to push for remaining in the EU to be an option in a new referendum ratifying any deal agreed with the remaining 27 member states.

At a launch event in London, she will argue the party - which campaigned strongly for Remain - was not seeking to re-run last year's referendum but to give voters an "informed say" on their future.

"There are some who say that this is a re-run of the referendum, but that simply isn't the case.

"Instead, this is giving people an informed say over our shared future.

"If the government is so convinced that they'll get a decent deal then there's no reason that they wouldn't trust people to have a final say."

Meanwhile, Liberal Democrats leader Tim Farron has vowed to fight for a public vote on the terms of the Brexit deal as he stood by claims of being a Eurosceptic.

He urged party activists not to "weep into your latte" over Brexit as he pledged to put staying in Europe at the heart of the campaign.

As he kicked off the Lib Dems' election battle bus tour, he was joined by Richmond Park MP Sarah Olney and former cabinet ministers Vince Cable and Ed Davey, who are both standing in south west London after losing their seats in 2015.

Mr Farron said that there should be a public vote on the final Brexit deal and pledged to fight for a second referendum.

Asked about describing himself as a "bit of a Eurosceptic" on BBC One's 'Andrew Marr Show', he said: "I am massively pro-Europe but I am also somebody... who is sceptical about people who hold power.

Irish Independent

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