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Head of Germany's central bank warns EU against further integration after Brexit

William Turvill
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Jens Weidmann has warned that the UK faces losing "crucial" passporting rights (Source: Getty)

The head of Germany’s central bank has warned the EU against pushing for further integration after the UK’s Brexit vote.

Jens Weidmann, the president of Deutsche Bundesbank, said this approach “no longer resonates with the public”.

In a meeting with media organisations including the Guardian, Weidmann said: “For many of its citizens, Europe has indeed lost its shine and become a projection screen for the downsides of globalisation and migration.

Read more: This group of European leaders could veto a Brexit deal

“Likewise, the usual instincts of the EU institutions to answer crises with ‘more Brussels’, more integration, no longer resonates with the public.

“Integration cannot be an end in itself, it has to make sense.”

Weidmann also warned that London faces losing its position as a financial centre if the UK leaves the single market under a “hard Brexit”.

He said that that banking “passporting rights are tied to the single market and would automatically cease to apply if Great Britain is no longer at least part of the European Economic Area (EEA)”.

Read more: Nigel Farage tells Ukip that Theresa May is not going far enough on Brexit

Weidmann reportedly appeared to dismiss the suggestion that the UK could keep “crucial” passporting rights while leaving the EEA.

However, negotiators in the City of London are understood to believe this would be possible, and are seeking bespoke deals for different sectors.

Weidmann added: “Of course several businesses will reconsider the location of their headquarters. As a significant financial centre and the seat of important regulatory and supervisory bodies, Frankfurt is attractive and will welcome newcomers. But I don’t expect a mass exodus from London to Frankfurt.”

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