Count Alexander von Schoenburg, who is editor-at-large at Bild, Germany’s biggest-selling newspaper, also launched a savage broadside at Angela Merkel, the country’s Chancellor, whom he branding “complacent and impotent”. Mr von Schoenburg, speaking after attending a reception in Berlin at which Mrs Merkel was awarded the American Academy’s Henry Kissinger Prize in acknowledgement for her contribution to transatlantic relations, said: “In Germany, fears are growing that the ship of Europe is sailing troubled waters. Soon it could be dashed on the rocks. “At times it feels like cocktail hour aboard the Titanic, with the iceberg looming on the horizon.
“For years, EU leaders have insisted that Brexit would be a disaster for Britain, leaving your country hopelessly isolated.
“But that narrative is starting to look like a delusion.”
Writing in the Daily Mail, Mr von Schoenberg hailed Britain’s strong Government and “dynamic economy”, which he said enabled the country to look to the future with confidence.
By contrast, he said the EU was trapped in “bureaucratic sclerosis” and fixated on rules and regulations.
Angela Merkel was branded
Count Alexander von Schoenburg
Hailing the passage of the European Withdrawal Act, signed off yesterday by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, through Parliament, Mr von Schoenburg added: “After all the long years of Parliamentary stalemate, Britain’s withdrawal from the EU will become a reality next week.
“The alarmists of Project Fear predicted this moment would be the cue for economic meltdown, yet just the opposite is happening. Britain seems ready to prosper.”
Referring to a study published by the CBI earlier this week, he pointed out the number of people without jobs was at its lowest level since 1974, while 33 million were in work – an all-time high.
Henry Kissenger and Angela Merkel at the event in Berlin
Britain looks like it can manage well without the EU. But can the EU manage without Britain?
He added: “Britain looks like it can manage well without the EU. But can the EU manage without Britain?”
The importance of the UK to the EU could not be overstated, Mr von Schoenberg said, stressing that Britain’s economy was bigger than the 18 smallest EU countries out together.
The UK’s annual net contribution of roughly £9billion would have “huge implications” for the bloc’s budget, he said.
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Boris Johnson’s Britain scares Germany, Mr von Schoenburg said
Angela Merkel at the Frankfurt Auto Show with German Auto Industry chief Bernhard Mattes
He said: “The truth is that Brexit – so often sneered at by the federalists – has shone a harsh spotlight on Europe’s deep-seated structural problems.”
In Germany, the massive car industry, which Mr von Schoenberg called the “backbone of the economy” was facing its biggest ever crisis.
He said: “Yet in the face of this darkening picture, Merkel – now in the last full year of her tenure – seems astonishingly complacent and impotent.”
Germany’s GDP growth rate has slumped recently
Meanwhile in France, President Emmanuel Macron was fighting a “losing war” in his attempt to implement wide-ranging reforms of “the vast and creaking French state”, while Italy and Spain were struggling with internal problems of their own.
In reference to the glamorous event in Berlin at which Mrs Merkel was guest of honour, Mr von Schoenburg said: “A glance across the Channel to Britain is enough to make me sufficiently envious to reach for an aspirin – invented a long time ago in Germany – to quaff with the Champagne.
“I see a country that has an unrivalled financial services sector, enjoys a vast cultural reach through language, music and the arts and contains several of the world’s great universities.
“Europe fears a truly global Britain.
Demonstrators protest against Emmanuel Macron’s proposed pension reforms
“Diehard Remainers still cling to the belief that Britain will stumble, that the forthcoming negotiations on a trade deal will prove tortuous.
“I am not so sure. With only ten months of talks left, Britain is in a far better position than most here on the continent dare to admit.
“The champagne at these self-congratulatory diplomatic receptions is starting to leave a sour taste.
“Your future looks bright. I’m not so sure about mine.”