Brexit Britain may soon have a new best friend in Germany - by Ambrose Evans Pritchard
Britain’s role in the post-war reconstruction of Germany could at last be paying dividends according to Ambrose Evans Pritchard in this extract from the Telegraph’s Economic Intelligence newsletter, a full copy of which can be found in the link at the bottom of this article.
Armin Laschet, the front runner to succeed Angela Merkel as Germany’s next Chancellor, looks likely to re-set relations with Britain post-Brexit in a welcome change to the Merkel-Macron approach.
“Berlin’s political leaders are mostly too young to know much about the extraordinary role of British military officers in the post-War reconstruction of Germany.
That episode of visionary statecraft and creativity has faded from collective consciousness. It never had much hold over Angela Merkel, who grew up in Communist East Germany with a binary sense of Cold War politics. But Armin Laschet has not forgotten, and he is now the odds-on favourite to be the next Chancellor.
It would be a stretch to describe Armin Laschet as a committed Anglophile. The Christian Democrat candidate is a deal-maker at heart who likes to keep the lines open to everybody, including Vladimir Putin. “He hails from Achen (Charlemagne's lair) and will always put the Franco-German relationship first when push comes to shove,” said Holger Schmieding from Berenberg Bank.
Yet Mr Laschet gave a striking answer when asked in the first presidential TV debate which country should be the primordial partner for the European Union. “We must do everything we can to keep the British very, very close alongside us,” he said.
It is not clear what Mr Laschet means by keeping the British “very, very close” but it implies a willingness to bury the hatchet after the bitter Brexit divorce, a switch from a punishment policy to something closer to a win-win for both sides.”
Let us hope so.