The British Deplorables? Merkel Says Germany ‘Deplores’ Brexit at Press Conference with Theresa May

German Chancellor Angela Merkel made a dig at Brexit during a press conference with Britain’s Theresa May in Berlin, saying she “deplores” it.

“We basically have not changed our stance on Britain leaving the European Union,” she told the assembled journalists. “In fact, we deplore it.”

Merkel’s comments echoed those of failed U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who branded “half” of then-candidate Donald Trump’s supporters “deplorables” during the 2016 elections.

Merkel added, however, that she wanted to establish a “constructive position” in the Brexit negotiations, “because we want to have as close as possible partnership with Britain after they have left the European Union. Both economically and politically.”

Hardliners in the European Commission, dedicated to the so-called ‘European project’, are thought to have been throwing spanners in the works up to now, with Commission boss Jean Claude-Juncker’s chief of staff Martin Selmayr, in particular, suspected of wanting to make an “example” out Britain in order to dissuade other EU member-states from leaving.

Such hostile actors are beginning to be reined in, however, as the leaders of the EU’s national governments have begun to panic about the consequences if Britain walks away from the negotiations, abandons its plans for a so-called ‘transition’ period, and makes a clean Brexit — depriving the bloc of a British financial settlement and leaving it insolvent.

For example, a proposed ‘punishment clause’ proposed by the European Commission — which would have allowed the EU to impose sanctions and trade restrictions on the United Kingdom if Brussels decided it had broken the terms of the ‘transition’ agreement — has been dropped, after leading Brexiteers such as Jacob Rees-Mogg came out and said Britain would not “roll over”.

While Central European EU members such as Poland and Hungary have been the most pragmatic is thought to be concerned about establishing a constructive relationship with Britain previously — recognising Britain’s economic importance as the EU’s number one export market — Western countries like Germany are being brought round by the dawning realisation of the black hole which Brexit will leave in the bloc’s finances, and which they will be expected to make up.

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