Germany is reneging on the UK-friendly stance it took following the EU referendum, with finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble warning the UK could have to pay EU bills until 2030 and will not be offered “generous rebates”.
In a conversation with the Financial Times, Schäuble said that post Brexit the UK will still be restricted by tax rules preventing it from incentivising investors to keep assets in the UK.
Until now, the Government had pinned its hopes on net exporter to the UK Germany taking a softer approach, with Chancellor Angela Merkel suggesting a hard Brexit bargain would be detrimental to Europe’s links with the UK.
However Schäuble has responded to French President François Hollande’s hard line on Brexit. The German finance minister now insists the UK adhere to international rules on investment incentives, such as guarantees made by the Government to car manufacturer Nissan.
Schäuble said: “These rules apply to all whether EU members or not. The UK is still a member of the EU and it is a country which has always upheld the valid regulations, valid laws and valid treaties.”
Schäuble also warned financial services companies with offices in the UK could move to Frankfurt, Germany’s financial centre, and voiced his support for the City of London’s euro-clearing business to be stripped away.