The United Kingdom cut ties with the European Union late last year after signing a post-Brexit trade agreement at 11am after nearly a year of tense and bitter talks between the two parties. This ended Britain’s 47-year membership in the bloc, with Boris Johnson celebrating New Britain’s sovereignty and insisting that the country thrive outside the bloc. The perspective now appears to have spread quickly to Germany, with Gabor Steinart acknowledging that Britain has done “better” than Germany during the pandemic and that Britain is now on the “economic fast track” despite Brexit.
The UK has made progress with its Covid vaccination programme, with 40% of the entire UK population being vaccinated, compared to just 19% in Germany, according to Our World In Data.
The European Union’s vaccination rollout has descended from disaster to disaster, as the bloc clashed with vaccine maker AstraZeneca over production and supply issues over which member states have expressed anger.
Mr Steingar made a series of confessions in an article for German news site Focus Online titled “The corpse is smiling at us: why the British are now leaving us with Boris Johnson economically”.
He wrote: “No need to understand Boris Johnson and his Britishness.
“But having a look at the island can’t hurt to see what went better there during the pandemic and what is better compared to Germany.
Despite Brexit, the UK is currently on the economic fast track.
“In order to get to know yourself better, both the imaginative look in the mirror and the wiser look at the garden fence look at each other.
“What we Germans see there, especially when we look into the distance and on the British Isle, should pause us.
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Despite the pandemic, the UK economy is expected to grow by 5.3% this year and 5.1% in 2022, the journalist and author said, adding that “Germany is also growing, but at a slower rate.”
He wrote: “The boasted advantages of the European Union over the British external fringe have failed to make the leap from political rhetoric to economic reality.
Stinger said the UK service sector will see its highest growth rate in 24 years in 2021 – despite all the disastrous post-Brexit talk by politicians.
Finally, the German referred to Statista’s unemployment figures for March, which show the UK unemployment rate at 4.8% versus 6.2% in Germany.
“Thanks to lower unemployment rates (see chart), UK prosperity is expected to grow faster than Germany in 2021,” he said.
In conclusion, Mr. Steingar suggested that Germany should not emulate the British approach, but admitted: “The corpse is smiling at us.”
The German wrote: “We do not have to copy the British method, but we have to understand it.
“The nation-state, which many German politicians have pronounced dead, appears to be alive and well on the island.
“We have the impression that the corpse is smiling at us.”
Additional reporting by Monica Ballenberg.
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