German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters on Tuesday that the “Brexit” is irreversible, pouring cold water on efforts to keep the United Kingdom inside the European Union.
“I see no possibility to reverse this. We would do well to accept this reality … This not a time for wishful thinking, but to see things as they are,” she said, as quoted by Politico.
Merkel is blamed by some analysts for a series of decisions that convinced British voters to choose a future outside the EU.
One was the decision last year to throw open German’s borders to Syrian refugees, out of a sense of historical guilt and a desire for immigrant labor.
That meant that any person claiming to be from Syria and demonstrating convincing Middle Eastern credentials could remain in Europe once they crossed enough borders. Hundreds of thousands, many of them military-age men, began a treacherous journey across land and sea in the hope of gaining residency in the EU — which, once granted would allow them to travel anywhere in the EU unimpeded by immigration controls.
Concerns mounted that Islamic State terrorists could pose as refugees to gain access to Europe. At least one of the terrorists who carried out the devastating terror attacks in Paris last November had been registered as a refugee.
Prior to the referendum, Merkel also failed to offer British Prime Minister David Cameron favorable terms for a re-negotiated membership in the EU, leaving him with little to show for his lobbying efforts, and little to entice the British electorate to vote “remain.”
Instead, British voters chose to “leave.” Facing the prospect of other countries wishing to withdraw as well, Merkel has few options left but to make the Brexit as firm as possible, emphasizing the costs of withdrawal in order to discourage other nations.