Angela Merkel: EU 'can no longer rely on allies' after Trump and Brexit

Europe can no longer ‘completely depend’ on the US and UK following the election of President Trump and Brexit, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said

29 May 2017, 8:23am
Angela Merkel tells party members: ‘We have to fight for our own destiny’
Angela Merkel tells party members: ‘We have to fight for our own destiny’
Europe can no longer completely rely on its longstanding British and US allies, Angela Merkel has warned – saying the EU must now be prepared to “take its fate into its own hands”.

Speaking at a campaign event held in a Bavarian beer tent, the German chancellor suggested the postwar western alliance had been badly undermined by the UK’s Brexit vote and Donald Trump’s election as US President.

“The times in which we could completely depend on others are, to a certain extent, over,” she told an election rally in Munich on Sunday. “I’ve experienced that in the last few days. We Europeans truly have to take our fate into our own hands,” Merkel told the crowd of some 2,500.

Merkel emphasised the need for continued friendly relations with the US and Britain and stressed the importance of being good neighbours "wherever that is possible, including with Russia, but also with others."

"But we need to know we must fight for our own future, as Europeans, for our destiny," she said.

Merkel suggested that the two-day G7 summit in Italy that ended on Saturday had served as something of a wakeup call.

G7 leaders were unable to reach unanimous agreement on climate change after US President Donald Trump said he needed more time to decide whether to back a key climate accord.

The two-day summit pitted the US president – whom Merkel did not mention by name – against the leaders of Germany, France, Britain, Italy, Canada and Japan on several issues.

The leaders vowed to fight protectionism, reiterating a “commitment to keep our markets open”; step up pressure on North Korea; cooperate more closely on terrorism; and look into placing tougher sanctions on Russia.

During his election campaign, Trump frequently questioned the value of the EU, welcomed Britain’s vote to leave the bloc and spoke positively of anti-EU politicians such as the French far-right leader Marine Le Pen.

Merkel said the result of the talks, which she described as “six against one”, was “very difficult, if not to say very unsatisfactory”.