Brexit vote ‘warning signal’: German vice chancellor

German Vice Chancellor and Finance Minister Olaf Scholz

Berlin,  German Vice Chancellor and Finance Minister Olaf Scholz on Tuesday said that the Brexit vote is not an “accident” but a “warning signal.”

When delivering a key note speech at the Future Forum Europe at the German Foreign Ministry on Tuesday, Scholz said the European Union must become more political, also in response to the British exit.

“The Brexit is a sad development. We would be happy if it would be different. The EU must be prepared for it,” said Scholz, who warned of massive consequences of a disorderly Brexit, for example, if additional customs and border controls would be necessary.

Scholz did not go straight to the expected vote on Tuesday evening in the British House of Commons over the negotiated exit agreement with the EU, reports Xinhua news agency.

In many EU members, anti–European and populist currents have gained in popularity. Many citizens doubted whether Europe had answers to key challenges of the future. That is why the EU must become more political, said Scholz.

In recent decades, the EU has focused too much on the single market, which helped to make Brussels a “small, bureaucratic administrative unit.” Scholz promoted a better culture of debate in the EU and more ability to compromise within the remaining 27 members.