The EU is facing increasing scrutiny as Brexit inspires more euroscepticism in the bloc – and an insider from Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union has said that many in Germany fear the EU could “break apart”.
The startling statement was made by Felix Schonherr from the Werte Union (Values Union) – a group within Merkel’s party which has called for the party to shift to the right in favour of “conservative values”. The group’s spokesman said that, while it does not oppose Germany’s membership in the EU, Brexit has sparked fears in Berlin and beyond that the bloc may be on the verge of breaking apart.
He told Express.co.uk: “In the general population people are angry about Brexit and disappointed about it – it isn’t just to do with regulation or economics but many people fear that the idea of the European Union is broken.
“They also fear that maybe it will break apart, but the media here doesn’t do a good job of reporting on Boris Johnson and Brexit.
“They usually frame him like Donald Trump – a little bit dumb or a little bit crazy – and kind of nationalistic or even hard right-wing.
“I think from a German economic perspective the UK is a very important trade partner, and we should try to get an agreement on both sides.”
The spokesman for the Werte Union said that his group didn’t have a position on the UK’s decision to leave the bloc, instead focusing on how it may affect Germany domestically.
He said Germans fear the euro may fail and the future of the EU could be undermined after Brexit.
Mr Schonherr added: “We tend to look more at the internal policies in Germany, but what we have spoken about is that maybe there will be a euro crash and that the EU will fail.
”The UK, if the EU crashes and burns with the euro, the UK will sit there with a smiling face and say ‘lucky we left’.”
One other issue the spokesman highlighted was the issue of German exports to the UK.
As the BBC reports – the UK accounts for 6.6 percent of German exports 2.6 percent of GDP. The latter figure is slightly above the EU average.
One industry that could lose out in Germany after Brexit is the automotive industry.
Mr Schonherr highlights how Brexit could also lead to more strain on Germany in the EU budget.
He said: “One problem from a German perspective is of course money because the UK contributed quite a lot to the EU, money which now breaks away.
“Of course, politicians now ask ‘who is going to step in for that?’ And it’s the Germans again.
“The Werte Union demands that the funding introduced for the EU is reduced – but we don’t want to abolish the EU.”
As budget feuds rumble on and post-Brexit pressure increases – the EU is now under more scrutiny than ever.