Keep EU doors open to Britain, say German finance minister and IMF chief

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble attends the weekly cabinet meeting at the Chancellery in Berlin

HAMBURG (Reuters) – The European Union should keep its doors open to Britain if it wants to change its mind about leaving the bloc, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble and International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde said on Thursday.

Speaking at an event ahead of the G20 summit in Hamburg, Schaeuble said it was not up to him to advise the British to change their decision, but added: “If Britain were to move in this direction, the door would be open, even after Brexit.”

Lagarde said the Brexit decision should not be made irreversible, adding the EU and Britain must continue to cooperate closely.

Lagarde also noted there were global challenges which demanded more global cooperation but also other challenges that needed regional cooperation. For his part, Schaeuble said the United States would not remain the strongest power if it takes a “Just America” line.

(Reporting by Gernot Heller, writing by Emma Thomasson)