The British rejected the Prime Minister of Lower Saxony Weil
According to WELT information, the British government declined the invitation to be the official guest country for Messe of Hanover. But in Lower Saxony, one does not want to give up hope that Great Britain will rethink.
DrThe British government rejected an invitation to be the official partner country of the Hanover Messe in 2024. The minister in charge, Gerry Grimston, justified the cancellation by saying that his country “should focus on fewer world events due to our limited resources”. This stems from a letter from Grimstone to the Prime Minister of Lower Saxony Stefan Weil (SPD) and the President of the Hannover Gallery, Jochen Köckler. The letter is available for WELT.
Grimstone added that Messe of Hanover and Lower Saxony could contact London’s trade representatives at the British Embassy in Berlin “for a more targeted cooperation”.
At WELT’s request, Lower Saxony government spokeswoman Anke Borksen confirmed receiving the refusal of the British Ministry of Trade, but did not want to give up hope of rethinking London, even in light of the impending change of government. “Great Britain is and remains a potential partner country for the Messe of Hanover,” said Pörksen.
A British government spokesperson said in response to a question from WELT: “Germany is Britain’s second largest trading partner with 1.4 million employees working in both countries. We remain committed to our goal of further strengthening our strong trade exchange with Germany.”
Trade relations have been shrinking since Britain left the European Union
Hannover Fair is one of the largest industrial fairs in the world and is an international platform for displaying innovative technologies. The fair was established in 1947 by the then British Military Department and remains a must-attend event for senior politicians. In 2016, for example, US President Barack Obama visited the trade fair with Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) when the US was a partner country. This year Portugal was the official partner, and in 2023 it will be Indonesia.
Lower Saxony Prime Minister Stefan Weil traveled to London and Edinburgh with an 80-strong delegation of business, political and science people at the end of March 2022 to maintain “the traditionally good relations between Lower Saxony and the United Kingdom,” according to a statement from the state government.
Will said at the time: “The UK remains one of Lower Saxony’s most important trading partners.” They want to use the time in the British Isles to “explore more opportunities and prospects for cooperation after Brexit”.
Since Brexit, trade relations between the UK and Germany have been steadily shrinking. In 2021, the kingdom slipped from seventh to tenth place among the most important trading partners. Between 2019 and 2021, trade shrank by about 30 percent.
Meanwhile, a Northern Ireland bill introduced by the outgoing government of Boris Johnson, which would undermine part of the Brexit treaty, has caused serious tensions with the European Union. Therefore, Brussels is blocking the talks in order to expand the Trade and Cooperation Agreement, which is badly needed from the point of view of the economy.
In 2021, the German Traffic Light Coalition enshrined in its Coalition Agreement that they must “fully comply with the Northern Ireland Protocol”. In London, there is still annoyance that the diplomats in charge did not know how to prevent such a categorical provision.
The British government led by Boris Johnson has adhered to the principle of “Global Britain” and since Brexit has focused mainly on trade agreements with countries such as Australia and New Zealand. However, increased cooperation with the European Union, which accounts for 50 per cent of British trade, has receded into the background.