Exclusive Exclusive: Austrian Finance Minister Says U.K. Could Remain in E.U.

The economic volatility caused by the Brexit vote may convince the United Kingdom to remain in the European Union after all, Austrian Finance Minister Hans Jörg Schelling told Handelsblatt in an exclusive interview. “When you see who all wants to move to the E.U., it’s a real wake up call for Great Britain not to exit,” Mr. Schelling said. “The reaction of companies and the financial markets is a shock for the country.” Britain could remain in the European Union at least until a free trade agreement has been negotiated with the bloc along the lines of Norway and Switzerland, Mr. Schelling said. There’s also the possibility of a partial Brexit in which Northern Ireland and Scotland remain members of the European Union. “Britain will remain a member of the E.U. in the future,” he said. “In five years, there will still be 28 member states.” Mr. Schelling also called for fundamental reform of the European Union in response to the Brexit vote. Brussels should focus on its core competencies – the single market and currency union, economic growth, security, migration, the labor market and climate change – and leave all other policy issues to the member states, the finance minister said. Read the full story in Handelsblatt’s Tuesday edition at 12:00 CET Picture Source: Reuters