LeaveHQ, 12/06/2016  

There has been a bit of media mischief with rather misleading and sensationalist reporting of the intervention of Wolfgang Schäuble in the referendum debate. All the headlines suggest he ruled out any possibility of the UK remaining in the Single Market which led directly to tedious remainers disingenuously claiming that “Germany says we cannot stay in the Single Market”. It is extremely important to read what he actually said, as reported by the Guardian:

‘Germany’s finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, has slammed the door on Britain retaining access to the single market if it votes to the leave the European Union.

In an interview in a Brexit-themed issue of German weekly Der Spiegel, the influential veteran politician ruled out the possibility of the UK following a Swiss or Norwegian model where it could enjoy the benefits of the single market without being an EU member. 

“That won’t work,” Schäuble told Der Spiegel. “It would require the country to abide by the rules of a club from which it currently wants to withdraw. 

“If the majority in Britain opts for Brexit, that would be a decision against the single market. In is in. Out is out. One has to respect the sovereignty of the British people.’ 

So despite the Guardian’s blatantly dishonest framing of his comments he did not actually slam the door on Britain retaining access to the Single Market. All he actually did was try and dictate to our government what it should do in the event of a vote to leave. He is also presumptuously trying to tell all Leavers what we actually mean by Leave, which is not his place.

He has basically told us what we already know. That remaining in the Single Market means retaining freedom of movement and conforming with the regulations of the market. We know this and have been saying this for a very long time. The EFTA/EEA model is a sensible transitional arrangement made necessary by the inherent complexities of leaving the EU and requires compromise. In saying that we cannot pick and choose or get everything our own way he is absolutely right and moderate Leavers have long ago made their peace with this.

The media has reported on this poorly. I will have to leave it up to remainers if they really want to continue to frame this dishonestly by wilfully misinterpreting what he actually said. Just as long as they aware of their hypocrisy in doing so and the clear risk of it backfiring.  What they are inferring is that Germany will attempt to dictate to us how to react to our referendum result; we cannot be sure that the British public will appease a bully so perhaps they ought to rethink their “Germany says” strategy.

The reality is that the remain camp are panicking as the EEA option gains significant traction and awareness increases of the possibility of an economically safe Brexit. It is leaking out to the media more and more that the Civil Service is planning for such an exit strategy. Schäuble’s intervention is a panicked attempt to obscure the debate and scare British voters and the media misreporting is totally transparent.

The most important thing he said was as follows:

“If the British do actually vote to leave the EU, it will be important to remain calm and offer the markets some orientation on which way the road will lead. Then we would have to say: “We now have a decision that we did not want, but let’s make the best of it”.

Pragmatism and the necessity of protecting trade will win the day; the EEA option is key to this.

Log in

Sign THA