Leading German economists and professors have declared that UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s EU renegotiation is “worthless”, adding “There is nothing in the EU-UK agreement that can offer the UK any permanent legal safeguards against being dragged along the path of further integration”.
Their letter in the Sunday Times comes at the same time German Chancellor Angela Merkel declared the British vote a “completely unnecessary risk” that could damage the UK and her European project.
Speaking privately, the German chancellor was worried that the referendum might create “extra instability” at a time of economic turmoil and pressures from the migration crisis.
A German government source told the Times: “It was a completely unnecessary risk that comes as a result of party politics rather than actual concern for Britain’s best interests.” The referendum “will make us sweat until the last moment”.
Adding: “All eyes will be on Britain in June. Given the huge challenges Europe is facing at the moment, this extra instability is the last thing anyone needs.”
According to those familiar with Merkel’s thinking, she believes Britain leaving the EU would be “an ultimate disaster” for Europe.
Furthermore, a source in Berlin also revealed that Mrs. Merkel has offered to help the campaign for the UK to remain in the EU – an intervention likely to backfire even more than US president Barack Obama’s attempt to influence the vote.
She told David Cameron at the G5 summit in Hanover last month that she “stands ready” to express her support in any way necessary. Downing Street, however, is reported to be aware that the intervention would be damaging to the IN campaign.
The Chancellor was opposed to Mr. Cameron’s attempts to renegotiate Britain’s deal with the EU from the beginning. “Germany will not tamper with the fundamental principles of free movement in the EU,” she said in 2014, when it was first being discussed.
The German professors group added: “The agreement cannot do so because it does little to reform the EU and does not exempt Britain from the jurisdiction of the Court of Justice…”
An original version of the shortened letter can be read at the CapX website.