Schaeuble, Lew Urge Europe to Limit Brexit Risk to World Economy

  • German minister comments after meeting U.S. counterpart Lew
  • Lew calls for ‘highly integrated’ U.K.-EU relationship

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble and U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew give a joint news conference in Berlin, on July 14.

Photographer: John MacDougall/AFP via Getty Images

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said European leaders must limit the potential economic damage caused by the U.K.’s exit from the European Union as the U.S. urged both sides to keep post-Brexit ties as close as possible.

“The faster we establish clarity, the better we’ll be able to limit any risks,” Schaeuble told reporters in Berlin on Thursday after talks with U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew. The government of Prime Minister Theresa May “needs a bit of time” to sort out its position on the U.K.’s relationship with the EU and Germany will “make the best” of the new situation, he said.

“We want to end up with a result that produces a highly integrated relationship” between the U.K. and the EU, Lew said at a news conference alongside Schaeuble.

Earlier, the U.K.’s newly appointed chancellor of the exchequer, Philip Hammond, said the June 23 referendum to leave the EU “rattled confidence” in the British economy and that he would take “whatever measures” to restore stability.

Asked about Hammond’s call to guarantee maximum access to the EU’s single market for Britain’s financial-services industry, Schaeuble said that’s an understandable negotiating stance.

“It is a very reasonable position of the new chancellor of the exchequer, what you just mentioned and what he has said,” he said.

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