Alexander De Croo: “Departure from the British is not a good seed …


Alexander De Croo:

Alexander De Croo

Photo: Photo News

The disappearance of the British from the European Union is not a good thing for the internal balance of power. That said Minister of Finance Alexander De Croo (Open VLD) Friday morning at LN24. “We feel that the France-Germany axis is becoming more important, and that is not good for Belgium. We are going back to a Europe where France and Germany can decide on everything, and the others can only follow. ”

Soon it will be midnight: more than 3.5 years after the Brexit referendum, the British are closing the door of the European Union behind them. Finance Minister Alexander De Croo has mixed feelings about this, he said during an interview at LN24 on Friday. “We did not want this, but on the other hand, we see that the remainder has found each other about what is important for Europe,” said the Open VLD. “The idea was that we would be totally divided, but the opposite has happened: the internal market is so important that even Hungary and Poland say that we cannot lose it. The value of Europe has become more concrete. ”

At the same time, Brexit does cause problems, and in particular for internal decision-making in the EU, De Croo believes. “The balance of power at European level, in the Eurogroup or in the Council, will change. I personally liked the British at the table. They were liberal, for the free market economy, “it sounded. “We feel that the France-Germany axis is now becoming more important, and that is not good for Belgium. We are going back to a Europe where France and Germany can decide on everything, and the others can only follow. ”

De Croo argues for the closest possible relationship between Brussels and London in the future. “The British island is not going to move geographically. It would not be intelligent for Europeans to keep the British as far away as possible. ”At the same time, the United Kingdom must adapt to European rules. “We cannot give someone the benefits of the internal market without contributing. That is not a simple balance. ”

Jambon warning

Flemish Prime Minister Jan Jambon warns again of “a huge economic loss for Flanders” in a “no-deal Brexit”. “No matter how much I respect the decision of the British, their departure will mean a major loss for Flanders and for the entire European Union,” says Jambon. “A no-deal Brexit causes a 2.5 percent loss of GDP and 28,000 jobs in Flanders. That scenario must therefore absolutely be avoided. ”

But even if the EU succeeds in negotiating an agreement, there will be negative consequences for Flanders. “In the case of a traditional free trade agreement, the Flemish economy would still have to deal with a loss of 1.8 percent of Flemish GDP. I therefore argue for an ambitious relationship with the British, without barriers. Cooperation in the areas of safety, research, education, agriculture, fisheries, mobility, etc. must also be continued. ”

The five priorities of Crevits

Economy Minister Crevits sets five priorities. “Fighting unfair competition, striving for continued successful research cooperation, ensuring smooth economic migration, maintaining smooth import and export flows, but certainly also negotiating a sustainable agreement for our fishing sector.”

The Flemish government is urging the EU for a Brexit guarantee fund to limit the negative socio-economic consequences for the most affected European regions. “In the coming months I will strive at every level and with all possible strength to highlight these Flemish priorities.”


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