Deputy finance minister Joerg Kukies said Berlin risks losing access to vital funding provided by the City of London if both sides cannot agree a deal before the end of the year. The warning came after the wrangling over a post-Brexit future relationship moved to Brussels as part of an intensive phase. Mr Kukies said: “German corporates, for all that I can tell, rely massively on wholesale financing offered from the City of London, so in that sense we will have to maintain pragmatism, no matter what happens.
“But at the moment we are deeply conceived by the lack of progress in negotiations.”
The discussions on the future trade and security partnership are separate from those on financial services.
Both areas are likely to go down to the wire with less than 10 weeks until the Brexit transition period expires on December 31.
Downing Street has announced Britain will leave the EU’s single market and customs union, as well as the bloc’s financial services rulebook at the end of the year.
With the threat of a no-deal Brexit still hanging over the talks, Mr Kukies was adamant the two sides will remain close allies whatever the outcome of the talks.
He said: “There is so much depth and intensity of relationships between European countries and the UK that this will not degenerate into animosity, I am absolutely convinced about that.”
His comments, however, contradict the words of European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
The top eurocrat yesterday claimed the Brexit talks were making good progress after a brief update from her chief negotiator, Michel Bernier.
Mrs von der Leyen said: “We’re making good progress but there are two critical issues: level playing field and the fisheries, where we would like to see more progress.
“We are in very close contact on an hourly basis because the negotiations now have been intensified … There are 11 other fields of files that have to be negotiated.”
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The eurocrats were speaking after holding talks with Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau.
In a boost for Boris Johnson, the Canadian leader said he hoped to complete a trade deal with the UK without the same struggles as London’s pact with Brussels.
Mr Trudeau said: “Canada is extremely pleased to be the only G7 country that has a free-trade deal with every other G7 country and we would certainly like to keep that.
“There have been many discussions over the past years between myself and Prime Minister Johnson and his predecessor on that seamless transition on a rollover of the CETA between Canada and the European Union to be the basis for a Canada-UK free-trade that would allow certainty for Canadian and British companies going into the future.
“I think you’ve heard that there are significant complexities that the UK is grappling with in terms of negotiating the post-Brexit agreement with the European Union. I can highlight that it’s fairly straightforward with Canada and we are certainly very optimistic in the ability to see things roll over smoothly.
“The UK is engaged in many different negotiations right now but Canada is certainly there to ensure this certainty that can be given to British companies, at least with Canada, as other things are worked out in a more complex way.”