Merkel’s Finance Minister Hopes EU ‘Will Do So Well the British Will Realise They Made a Mistake’

Schäuble
SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty

Angela Merkel’s long-time finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, has joined various other European leaders and Remain diehards in expressing a desire to see Brexit reversed.

“I hope that the rest of Europe will do so well the British realise at some point they made a mistake,” he said in Berlin.

The 74-year-old was doubtful the two-year negotiating period leading up to Britain’s departure would be “sufficient” for the public to change their minds in time to prevent it from happening, however.

The European Parliament’s chosen representative in the Brexit talks, former Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt, has made similar comments in recent months, telling fellow MEPs he is “convinced and 100 per cent sure about one thing: that there will be, one day or another … a young man or a young woman who will try again. Who will lead Britain again into the European family once again.”

Back in the United Kingdom, many leading Remain campaigners have begun to hope that Brexit can be averted altogether now that Theresa May has lost her parliamentary majority. Tony Blair’s infamous spin doctor Alastair Campbell told a Franco-British Young Leaders meeting that “Brexit needs to be stopped to prevent damage to Britain” on the eve of the Brexit vote’s one-year anniversary.

“[F]rankly, there have been times in recent months when I have wished I was French,” he declared.

Even before the June 8th election, his former paymaster said:”This Brexit thing has given me a direct motivation to get more involved in politics”, and boasted about being ready to “get [his] hands dirty” again.

Unlike Schäuble, Blair believes it may be possible to stop Britain from leaving the European Union in the first place.

“The people voted without knowledge of the true terms of Brexit,” he claimed. “As these terms become clear, it is their right to change their mind. Our mission is to persuade them to do so.”

Blair and Campbell’s efforts are being supported by a number of wealthy Remain supporters outside elected politics, such as financier and Fidel Castro enthusiast Gina Miller, but others favour the more long-term strategy outlined by Schäuble and Verhorstadt.

Billionaire speculator and open borders campaigner George Soros, for example, describes a middle way in which Britain applies to rejoin the EU after its formal exit, but before it has been fully disentangled from its various commitments to the bloc.

“Brexit is a lose-lose proposition, harmful both to Britain and the European Union. It cannot be undone, but people can change their minds,” he wrote in the Mail on Sunday, which backed a Remain vote during the referendum.

“The divorce process [will] take at least five years… [D]uring that time new elections would take place. If all went well, the two parties may want to remarry even before they have divorced.”

Follow Jack Montgomery on Twitter: @JackBMontgomery

.

Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.