Germany risks becoming ‘giant ATM machine’ following Brexit – UK trade minister

Britain's International Trade Secretary Liam Fox © Pierre Albouy
Germany risks becoming the “greatest ATM machine” in history as a result of Brexit, the UK’s trade minister has warned. He said Berlin may be left to pay for a failing European Union which is in danger of collapse.

“If I were a German politician I would be worried that, without Britain, Germany has the potential to become the greatest ATM in global history,” Liam Fox, who served as a pro-Brexit campaigner during the referendum, told the Spectator magazine.

He noted that once Britain – the European Union’s second-largest economy – leaves the bloc, Berlin will have lost a key ally in enforcing “economic rigor.” As a result, it could end up paying for other EU nations.

Fox also said the bloc is facing the risk of “implosion.”

“The architecture is beginning to peel away,” he said.

“It’s going to sacrifice at least one generation of young Europeans on the altar of the single currency, and you can only rip out the social fabric from so much of Europe before it starts imploding.”

Fox did, however, admit that Britain has its own work to do after leaving the EU, stressing that it needs to reform in order to boost its economy.

“We’ve just now got to probe all the areas where we could be making changes,” he said.

“Government, the financial sector, culture, all of them will have to play a part.”

Fox is one of the high-ranking Euroskeptics tasked with dealing with the consequences of the Brexit vote.

His statements come less than three weeks after he faced a backlash from politicians and social media users for saying British businesses have become “too lazy” to maintain successful export trade, with executives “playing golf” instead of doing their duties.