FRANKFURT – German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said Thursday that Britain will not get an improved membership deal with the European Union if the country votes to leave the bloc.
Schaeuble said in a speech he wanted to end any speculation that a “leave” vote in the June 23 referendum could be used to improve on a deal won by Prime Minister David Cameron to change Britain’s membership terms.
Schaeuble said that “this is the only deal on the table. An ‘out’ vote cannot be used to get a better deal. ‘In’ means ‘in’ and ‘out’ means ‘out.'”
He said the decision was for the British people alone to make, and that “we will respect any decision that is reached.”
Earlier, a top European Union official warned that a decision to leave the bloc would cause “manifold problems.”
The head of the EU’s executive Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, said in Berlin that Britons aren’t being told about the “full extent” of the problems an exit would cause.
He said that if Britain leaves, the EU won’t change course but “everything would have to be rearranged.”
“The idea that, the day after the British referendum with a negative result, everything would carry on as it has so far is totally wrong,” said Juncker. “Those who leave the table can no longer eat at this table.”