German Chancellor Angela Merkel holds a joint news conference with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte (not pictured) at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, October 2, 2019. REUTERS/Michele Tantussi
LONDON (Reuters) – A Brexit campaign group apologised on Wednesday for describing German Chancellor Angela Merkel as a “kraut” who was bossing Britain about in negotiations over its exit from the European Union.
The Leave.EU campaign group tweeted an image showing Merkel holding up her right hand beside the words: “We didn’t win two world wars to be pushed around by a kraut.”
The move followed remarks by a Downing Street source who said a Brexit deal was essentially impossible because Merkel had made unacceptable demands on a call with Prime Minister Boris Johnson, including that Northern Ireland stay within the EU’s customs union.
“We went too far on this one and apologise unreservedly,” Leave.EU spokesman Andy Wigmore said by telephone.
“In these days of uncertainty and tribal anger over Brexit, perhaps we should all be a little less angry with our rhetoric on both sides.”
Arron Banks, who financed the Leave.EU campaign, said the group had gone too far with the image.
“But the real outrage is the German suggestion that Northern Ireland be separated from the UK,” Banks said.
Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; Editing by Mark Potter