The German government aims to push for the European Union to negotiate an association agreement with Britain once it leaves the E.U., but wants to avoid making too many concessions that would give incentives for other states to follow suit, according to an internal German finance ministry paper seen by Handelsblatt.
An association treaty spells out trading rules and other regulations between the European Union and a non-E.U. country, for instance whether import tariffs apply to certain goods or services.
A treaty with Britain, once it had left the European Union, should not offer too much leeway to Britain in gaining access to the European Union’s internal market, said the ministry’s document, of which Handelsblatt has obtained a copy.
The document, prepared by Finance Minister Wolfgang SchÃ¤uble’s department, is called “German strategy regarding Brexit.” Eight pages long, the paper details how the government wants to deal with Britain as it leaves the European Union.
To deter other European countries from leaving the bloc, the European Union “should refrain from setting wrong incentives for other member states when renegotiating relations,” said the paper.
Other countries that might want to leave the European Union could be France, Austria, Finland, the Netherlands and Hungary, according to the paper. “The extent of the knock-on effect will depend on the handling of the United Kingdom,” it said.
Mr. SchÃ¤uble and his boss, Chancellor Angela Merkel, are also worried about another issue, according to the document. Both fear that the European Commision, the region’s executive body, France and Italy could exploit the current uncertainty to push for more risk-sharing ”” a reference to pooling liabilities in tackling the euro debt crisis, for example. Germany should “proactively” steer against such a development, the paper said.
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