The image of Britain standing alone within the 2nd international warfare against German domination has fed Euroscepticism in the UK but does little to solve the united states of America’s current problems, the outgoing German ambassador to London has informed the Guardian.
Dr. Peter Ammon defined the United Kingdom’s selection to go away the EU as “a tragedy” and a miserable second, but also warned that Britain had “illusions” approximately the Brexit talks.
“If you have got illusions approximately what you can negotiate, then it is very difficult. You grow to be in a divorce in which you say: ‘It changed into usually your fault,’ and you find some instance, and start a blame game,” he stated.
In a valedictory interview, Ammon, who is because of retire from Germany’s diplomatic service this month after protecting the posts of ambassador to Paris, Washington, and London, additionally advised the Guardian:
Britain is possible to lose global have an effect on as a result of Brexit.
High tiers of immigration into the United Kingdom from the EU, one of the key drivers of Brexit, are coming to an end because of better growth within the EU.
No offer will be available to the United Kingdom that may be a halfway residence between the conditions of Canada and Norway.
Ammon stated Britain became rightly pleased with its history, however, some Brexiters have been prompted with the aid of a sense of national identification built round Britain status on my own inside the 2nd international war.
With British cinemas complete of films which includes Darkest Hour and Dunkirk, Ammon said: “History is continually full of ambiguities and united states of America and downs, however, if you attention handiest on how Britain stood on my own within the [second world] struggle, how it stood towards dominating Germany, well, it’s miles a nice tale, but does no longer remedy any problem of nowadays.
“I spoke to most of the Brexiteers, and a lot of them said they desired to maintain a British identity and this turned into being lost in a thick soup of other identities. Obviously, each kingdom is defined by using its history, and some outline themselves through what their father did inside the conflict, and it gives them super private delight.”
He described the notion that Germany dominates the EU as “a horrible story”.
When I inform humans in Germany I am faced through this narrative once in a while in public debates they say: ‘This can’t be real. You are joking. This cannot be actual. That is absurd,’” he said.
Ammon stated he had extremely good confidence in Britain, however, he feared its “have an effect on could be faded” after Brexit.
Ammon diagnosed three illusions or concerns that needed to be addressed to save you a breakdown within the talks, regarding the blessings of destiny UK unfastened trade offers, the Irish border and the terms of a selected UK-EU free alternate deal.
“The concept that there is in destiny a bonanza or a pot of gold somewhere thru loose trade agreements with 0.33 events seems fanciful,” he stated.
“The idea that you leave the customs union because the customs union could forbid you from getting into separate loose exchange agreements with 1/3 international locations concerns me. What happens if, as is likely, Britain comes returned from these negotiations and says: ‘What I actually have got here is not very mind-blowing’? What I fear is there might be a blame sport for this non-fulfillment. It will be explained as “something the Europeans have done”.
The ambassador is doubtful that the United Kingdom will be capable of negotiating free exchange deals with international locations consisting of South Korea which can be better than those the EU presently enjoys.
He also puzzled how the issue of the United Kingdom’s border with Ireland may be resolved if the UK changed into outdoor the customs union. “There can be a choice on both facets not to have a border, however, without being in a customs union, I can not see how to don’t have any border.”
He stated: “The concept Britain can choose somewhere among a loose exchange deal combining elements of the Norway model and the Canada model will now not work due to the fact the unmarried market is constructed on a balanced agreement with the objective of creating a level playing field.”
He additionally wondered whether immigration levels into the UK from the EU, one of the drivers of the Brexit vote, have been any more a trouble.
“I even have heard officers here say we’re now at zero net migration from Europe so the problem seems to have long gone. Instead, people are determined for plumbers and health service workforce from eastern Europe, so from the out of doors, you wonder why humans now worry. I could worry greater about the lack of personnel.”
Ammon notes that the UK’s business leaders and the Labour party seem to be transferring to a comparable stance on staying inside the EU customs union, but says he does no longer discover a sea-exchange inside the British public temper on Brexit, and does no longer see a way for Europeans to influence the British to rethink the selection.
“It is a sensitive difficulty. I want we should do something,” he said. “The British humans could not be happy particularly for the Germans to inform them what to do. This is a proud u. S. A ., and rightly so. But the political assessment throughout Europe is that there could be no hassle if Britain desired to live.”
Ammon changed into German ambassador throughout a number of the talks among EU leaders and the former British prime minister David Cameron in 2015 at the possibility of reforms that would have led to phrases for Britain staying in the EU. But he says he does no longer suppose a greater generous German provide would have changed the referendum outcome.
“I don’t assume an emergency brake [on EU immigration] might have solved the trouble for people who desired to define their identity and people that desired to protest. It would have been not possible to communicate it. There was so much propaganda inside the media – I am sorry, I can’t call it something else.”
Brexit, he stated, became part of a wider, international populist riot towards politicians.
“Populism provides clean and understandable answers to very complex problems,” Ammon said. “If you say the phrases ‘unmarried market’ or ‘customs union’ in all likelihood ninety-nine % of the populace could not recognize, however, if you say: ‘Let us construct a wall to forestall those immigrants,’ humans say: ‘OK, on the way to likely assist.’ I realize it isn’t a very good solution to troubles – Germany has now not had a very good revel in with constructing walls.”