Wolf Klinz, who is a member of the liberal group in the European Parliament, mocked the idea that the German car industry’s reliance on the UK would see EU unity crack.
Quizzed about the prospect of a EU-UK trade deal this year, Mr Klinz revealed he was cautiously optimistic but said that while the EU will remain united, the UK will find it hard.
The MEP told reporters in Strasbourg that the British Government will have “to face difficulties” in the coming months.
Mr Klinz said: “As a German, I deplore the British exit – British MEPs always stood for common sense and pragmatism, and joined us to defend fair competition and open markets.”
A reporter then asked: “The eurosceptic press in the UK claim that Germany will give in, that Germany wants to sell its cars to the UK, that you are desperate for a deal.”
The MEP responds: “Well, they will realise they are wrong! The EU27 is united and all hopes that they will crack will never work.
“You – the Brtitish – you better prepare for some difficulties in the coming months.”
Despite this furious response, many in the EU fear the trade talks may break the unity seen in the first phase.
European Council President Donald Tusk said: “I have no doubt that the real test of our unity will be the second phase of Brexit talks.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel added that the next stage will be “incomparably more difficult”.
EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker agreed when asked in December: “The second phase is much more difficult than the first, and the first was very difficult.”
Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern compared the countdown to Brexit as a marathon “and we just finished the first mile”.
Last year, businesses in the German town of Erfurt, Thuringia, pleaded with Angela Merkel to respect Britain’s importance over fears of an economic decline at home.
The Federation of German Industries (BDI) warned German firms operating in the UK to brace themselves for a “very hard Brexit” and told its members to take precautions or be prepared to face heavy economic losses.
BDI managing director Joachim Lang said: “The unbundling of one of Germany’s closest allies is unavoidably connected with high economic losses. The German economy is preparing for all possible scenarios.
“A disorderly exit by the British from the EU without any follow up controls would bring with it considerable upheaval for all participants.”