The Daily Update - EU Summit / Angela Merkel

For the second time in less than 2 weeks German Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christlich Demokratische Union (CDU) party suffered an electoral blow on the back of the German Chancellor’s open-door policy to immigration. In the state of Berlin the CDU polled 17.5% of the vote, its worst postwar result, with the anti-Islam Alternative for Deutschland (AfD) on course to win around 14%. With this result the AfD has now won opposition seats in 10 of Germany's 16 states ahead of next year’s election. Before voting began, Berlin’s Mayor Michael Mueller issued a warning that a good AfD result would be "seen throughout the world as a sign of the resurgence of the right and of Nazis in Germany".

Naturally the AfD were delighted with the result with its candidate Georg Pazderski announcing "From zero to double digits, that's unique for Berlin. The grand coalition has been voted out - not yet at the national level, but that will happen next year," The result shows that the AfD is appealing to voters across the board, with it now being represented in a big city, as well as eastern German states and the more affluent western ones.

The result was announced after Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, warned in a letter to European leaders that the immigration crisis last summer was a tipping point in the EU. In a statement made on the eve of the first EU summit without the UK, Tusk said "We haven't come to Bratislava to comfort each other. Or even worse, to deny the real challenges we face. In this particular moment in the history of our community, after the vote in the UK, the only thing that makes sense is to have a sober and brutally honest assessment of the situation.”

However, Jean-Claude Juncker, the President of the European Commission, insisted that the UK cannot expect access to the single market without accepting the free movement of people. Even though any future trade deal with Britain was not on the agenda, Junker said "There is a clear interlink as we made clear at the very beginning between the access to the internal market and the basic principles of the internal market - namely the free movement of workers and we are sticking to that position. This is not a game between prime ministers leaving and prime ministers remaining, this is about people in Europe.” He added that although the EU wants to continue to  have a good close working relationship with the UK, he warned that “At the same time, it is not possible for these negotiations to damage our interests."

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