Top economist Hans-Werner Sinn says Germany should use BREXIT to renegotiate EU terms

Top economist Hans-Werner Sinn said the UK’s negotiations to leave the bloc would be a perfect time to shift the power from Brussels back to member countries and regions.

The former president of the leading Munich-based economic research group, the Ifo Institute, said: “The federal government should use the exit-negotiations with the United Kingdom as an opportunity to negotiate a change to the EU treaties and to correct a lot of what is in a sorry state.

“The disintegration phenomena in the EU is the result of an exaggerated and misguided centralisation and an assumption of competencies of the European institutions.”

“The European Union has grown too much, has grown uncontrollably, and has been hijacked by individual interests who have sought to use the Union for their own objectives.”

He predicted a damning outcome for the future of the EU, saying the Brussels club would never allow power to be taken from its hands.

The financial scientist, added: “The EU will sooner break apart, than Brussels voluntarily returning competences to the Member States.

“This is why it is up to the national governments, and especially the German one, to show that things don’t work the way Brussels envisions.”

Amendments to the Treaty would therefore have to be linked to Brexit discussions, he said.

The economist called for a new court to ensure Brussels only deals with truly cross-border issues.

But, he said he did not expect German Chancellor Angela Merkel to have the courage to change the EU Treaty, which sets out the EU’s remit and procedures.

He added: “The current federal government is unlikely to have the necessary force to implement an amendment to the EU Treaty and to correct the faulty developments in Europe.

“Red-green [SPD, Greens] was different in its day. Schröder had more courage than Merkel has today. The EU can only survive in the long term if it is a free-trade community in which everyone can develop in the way they see fit.”