Angela Merkel nightmare: Brexit set to cost Germany £30bn in just two years

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Angela Merkel nightmare: Brexit set to cost Germany £30bn in just two years

The UK finally exited the Brexit transition period in January this year after Boris Johnson signed a historic EU trade deal on Christmas Eve. And t

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The UK finally exited the Brexit transition period in January this year after Boris Johnson signed a historic EU trade deal on Christmas Eve. And the cost of the decision for Britain’s European neighbours has now become clear in a bombshell report by the European Commission.

Without Britain, the EU will lose around 0.5 percent of its annual economic growth over the next two years.

Across the bloc, this could total an estimated £121 billion (140 billion euros).

And according to German magazine Focus, Ms Merkel’s nation will face an eyewatering individual price.

Germany could lose around £30 billion by the end of next year, the magazine estimated.

This economic blow heaps more pressure on Ms Merkel, who is currently firefighting a growing rebellion in Germany over her lockdown policy.

This week Germany has been accused of breaking EU rules by slamming shut its borders in a bid to halt the spread of Covid.

The EU report on Brexit’s economic costs concludes a brutal few weeks for Ms Merkel.

The Commission’s report said: “Overall, the trade agreement improves the situation compared to a situation without an agreement, but it does not even come close to the advantages of EU membership.”

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These “non-tariff barriers” (NTBs) make up around 8.5 to 10.9 percent of the value of the goods.

Earlier this week, the former EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier warned the UK could face harsh tariffs if they slip below EU standards.

In a newspaper interview, he said: “With our agreement, the UK can now export goods without quotas or tariffs to the EU.

“However, he [Boris Johnson] announced his intention to deregulate in three areas: financial services, pesticides and working hours.

“Will this change of rules lead to unfair competition which risks destroying jobs in Europe?

“All situations of distortion of competition will have to be assessed objectively.

“If necessary, as the agreement provides, we could respond with countervailing measures by reinstating tariffs. Part of the deal could even be suspended.”

Britain plans to strip all EU law from its statute books, as well as plans for what could become a “Big Bang 2.0” for its financial services sector.

Since the UK left the single market, there has been an ongoing row over the transportation of goods between the bloc and Northern Ireland following post-Brexit arrangements.

Last month, relations broke down as the Commission threatened to override parts of the Brexit deal relating to trade after the bloc suffered a shortage of supply of the coronavirus vaccine.

Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg



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