Following his return to Berlin this evening (12 March), Foreign Minister Heiko Maas issued the following statement on Brexit:
I would have preferred to have met with a different situation on my return. The British parliament has now for the second time rejected the withdrawal agreement reached by the EU and the British Government – despite the far‑reaching additional offers and assurances the EU made at the UK’s request.
To be quite clear, this decision takes us closer and closer to a no deal scenario. For anyone who rejects the agreement is toying recklessly with the welfare of the citizens and of the economy. What we should all be doing at long last, however, is looking ahead, so that we can embark on the very important negotiations on the future relationship between the EU and the UK.
All I can say at this juncture, regrettably, is that Germany has prepared as well as possible for this worst of all possible scenarios, too. And of course we will keep hoping over the next 17 days that an unregulated exit can be avoided. First, though, we will have to wait for domestic developments in the UK, and we should not enter into speculation. Matters are in the British parliament’s hands.