Finally some adults in the room! German MP pledges to “write a new chapter” with Britain Brexit


The call for an international agreement comes as a result of fears cross-country relations could sour in the coming months, as Britain forges ahead with a series of trade deals. Tom Tugendhat, the Tory chairman of the Commons foreign affairs select committee, and Norbert Rottgen, the Christian Democratic Union chairman of the Bundestag committee on foreign affairs, made the suggestion in the hopes of strengthening Anglo-German relations. The friendship pact could see joint foreign and security policy goals and school exchanges.

Mr Tugendhat and Dr Rottgen wrote: “We think it’s time for a German-British Friendship Treaty, which regulates enhanced cooperation and strengthens our shared values; cultural and education policy; and yes, our foreign affairs.

“A treaty would complement whatever the UK agreed with the 27 member states and deepen our bonds.”

The political pair described such a treaty as the “first draft of the next chapter we will write together”.

Whilst the politicians, writing in The Times, acknowledged “different perspectives on Brexit”, they said they were keen to “move on” from the issue.

The essence of such a treaty seems to have, at its heart, bilateralisation, the idea of frequent exchanges between the two countries to ensure they are on the same page.

They added: “Germany and the United Kingdom have shared interests overseas.

“Our two countries stood together on every major international issue, from global trade to the Iran nuclear deal.

“We both recognise that we share a continent, values, making our security indivisible.

“Geography and geopolitics is not changed by Brexit.”

Dr Rottgen and Mr Tugehdhat also pointed out Britain’s diminished diplomatic presence in Brussels, but asserted the friendship pact would allow Britain to “change the tone”.

This, they state, could be done through increasing embassy staff, and ramping up international cultural programmes.

The issue of increasing racism was also addressed by the political counterparts.

Whilst they argued Germany and the UK were “some of the most tolerant and open societies in the world”, they also said more work needed to be done.

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