November 16, 2018 / 2:50 PM / a month ago

Germany must prepare for a no-deal Brexit: finance minister

German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz attends a press conference after the federal cabinet meeting in Potsdam, Germany November 15, 2018. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Germany must prepare for a hard Brexit but will do everything possible to avoid it, Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said on Friday.

He said he hoped the draft agreement on the table would be approved.

Asked about the possibility of a no-deal Brexit, Scholz said: “One has to prepare for this variant...But we will do everything we can to avoid it.”

Speaking at a banking conference in Frankfurt, he said Germany needed a strong banking industry for its economy and added that Europe was better positioned for any possible financial crisis than a decade ago but still had a lot to do.

Scholz said Germany was close to developing a solution on a joint euro zone budget that he assumed would be acceptable for other countries.

Reporting by Tom Sims and Frank Siebelt; Writing by Michelle Martin; Editing by Thomas Seythal

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