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UK Can Stay In The EU If It Wants, Says German Finance Minister

13/06/2017 9:49 PM AEST | Updated 13/06/2017 11:59 PM AEST
JOHN MACDOUGALL via Getty Images
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble attends a press conference on the German budget plan for 2017 in Berlin, on July 6, 2016. / AFP / John MACDOUGALL (Photo credit should read JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images)

The door is “open” to the United Kingdom staying inside the European Union, Germany’s finance minister has said.

Wolfgang Schäuble said on Tuesday it was “up the British government to take their own decisions” about Brexit.

“The British government has said we will stay with the Brexit. We take the decision as a matter of respect. But if they wanted to change their decision, of course, they would find open doors,” he told Bloomberg.

Schäuble added however he thought it “not very likely” the UK would choose to reverse the decision of the referendum. 

The German minister’s comments came as pressure grows on Theresa May to pursue a more cross-party approach to Brexit with greater focus on the economy is growing amid reports of secret talks between Cabinet ministers and Labour MPs.

Michael Gove, who was brought back into the cabinet as environment secretary in the reshuffle, this morning said the government now needed to listen more to what people who voted Remain wanted Brexit to look like.

The surprise election result which saw May lose her overall Commons majority has thrown the UK’s Brexit plans up in the air as pro-Remain Tories exert more influence over the negotiation strategy.

Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson has already said “this isn’t just going to be a Tory Brexit”.

And William Hague, the former foreign secretary, said today there should be a cross-party commission that includes Jeremy Corbyn.

Today the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, warned the UK risks crashing out of the bloc without a deal at all if it continues to “waste” time.

“Next week, it will be three months after the sending of the Article 50 letter,” he told the Financial Times. “We haven’t negotiated, we haven’t progressed.”

He added: “I can’t negotiate with myself.”

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