HAMBURG, Germany, November 15, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --
A German minister has called on the British government to hold a second EU referendum ahead of the next, crucial round of Brexit negotiations. "I think it would only be fair if the British people had a second referendum after the negotiations. They should be given a chance to vote on whether this is what they really want," Katarina Barley told the German weekly Die ZEIT.
Barley, a dual British and German citizen, currently heads the German Department of Work which is contributing to the EU's position on free movement of people. "I respect the decision of the British people", she says. "But I think it`s tragic." The British government has set out red lines, including ending free movement and the supremacy of the European Court of Justice over British courts. "They are our red lines, too," Barley says. If the UK insists on them, she adds, "there can be no agreement".
Asked about the possibility of Theresa May stepping down as prime minister, Barley replies: "I don't think that would change anything about the impasse in the negotiations. The EU will not change its hard line." Referring to the benefits of EU membership she says: "Our message is clear: There will be no better deal."
Barley's father was a British journalist in Cologne and her relatives live in Lincolnshire, one of the most eurosceptic areas of the UK. After a career in law, she was first elected into German parliament in 2013 and quickly rose through its ranks, becoming the SPD`s general secretary in 2015. She took over the Department of Family this May and the Department of Work after the German election in September on an interim basis.
The Social Democrats were in government for the past four years and have decided to go into opposition now. Currently, the Conservatives are in talks with the Greens and Liberals to form a new government. It is likely to adopt a similar position on Brexit to the previous government's.
DIE ZEIT Unternehmenskommunikation und Veranstaltungen
Tel.: +49-040/3280-237, Fax: +49-040/3280-558
SOURCE DIE ZEIT