The U.K. is by far Germany's most profitable export market. Last year, Germany's trade surplus with the U.K. came in at 51 billion euros ($56 billion), accounting for 34 percent of the German surplus with the EU. That surplus was also 42 percent higher than the German trade surplus with France, Berlin's largest European trade partner.

With its 89.3 billion euro worth of exports to the U.K. last year, Britain is Germany's third-largest export market, after the U.S. and France. Will Germany give this up by shutting the U.K. out of a free-trade agreement with the EU? Of course it won't.


No wonder that Chancellor Merkel keeps saying that there is no need to be "nasty" with the U.K., while reassuring her compatriots that she would negotiate the U.K.'s exit from the EU with a great attention to German interests.


The existing trade and defense ties explain why I think that the U.K. will have no trouble getting a deal it wants with the EU.

But the EU, and its future, is a much bigger worry. The union's leading tenors - Germany, France and Italy - have no idea what to do next, mostly because they are in a state of an intractable political disarray.

Comments: Be the first to add a comment

add a comment | go to forum thread