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16 Jan, 2019 08:40

German minister says ‘hard Brexit would hurt everyone in Europe’ after historic defeat of May’s deal

German minister says ‘hard Brexit would hurt everyone in Europe’ after historic defeat of May’s deal

It is up to British legislators to avoid a “hard Brexit” because the EU will not substantially renegotiate its terms, German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said. An exit with no deal would hurt both the EU and UK, he said.

Britain still has “a few days” before the scheduled departure date of March 29 to come up with a Brexit roadmap, the German minister told public broadcaster ZDF. The substance of the deal negotiated by Prime Minister Theresa May’s cabinet with the EU is “non-negotiable,” but some minor details may yet be changed, he suggested.

Altmaier said it was up to British legislators, who defeated May’s proposal in a record ‘nay’ vote on Tuesday, to come up with an alternative. A “hard Brexit” would hurt both the EU and Britain, he warned. “Everyone in Europe would lose, nobody would win,” the minister stated.

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The defeat of the Brexit deal in the British Parliament was followed by a motion of no confidence in May’s government from the opposition Labour Party. The vote on the motion is scheduled for Wednesday, and the outcome is far from certain. The prime minister already survived one vote of no confidence from her own party over the terms she managed to get from Brussels.

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