Germany’s Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble has said governments in the European Union could negotiate directly with each other to solve problems if the EU institutions fail to deliver solutions.

The approach Schauble outlines makes UK government plans for an EU unit to be set up to conduct negotiations specifically with EU institutions superfluous.

In a signal that Germany is willing to talk directly to the UK about new trade deals, Schauble said Chancellor George Osborne had asked him to say a Brexit would mean Britain would lose access to the single market or “Out is out.”

In an interview to Welt am Sonntag, Schauble said:

“Now is the time for pragmatism. If all 27 countries don’t go along from the beginning, then we’ll start with a few. And if the Commission doesn’t go along, then we will take the matter into out hands, solve the problems between the governments. This inter govermental approach has proved itself in the euro crisis.”

“The institutions should rather grasp the initiative by the solution of specific problems. And if they aren’t able to, then we will solve these problems outside the institutions between the governments.”

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