The ex-finance minister in Angela Merkel’s CDU ruling party spoke out after Theresa May promised MPs a vote on delaying Brexit. And with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn also changing track by backing a second referendum, Mr Schäuble is convinced the UK is ready to stay aligned to Brussels in the single bloc. Mr Schäuble told De Bild newspaper: ”I think Britain will either not leave the EU at all or come back sometime.
“And recent developments have strengthened this belief.”
He also called for plans for an EU army to advance “much faster” with more cooperation between France and Germany.
“Individual joint brigades are not enough,” he said.
“We need to convincingly state that defence is better together. Then there is not much room for the nationalists and demagogues.”
Mr Schäuble has previously called for a joint EU defence budget to challenge the military threat from Russia.
Meanwhile, Manfred Weber, the European People’s Party candidate for President of the European Commission, backed calls for a People’s Vote to provide “clarity” on Brexit
The German CSU politician also ruled out as “unthinkable” Britain taking part in May’s European elections.
Mr Weber said: ”I can not explain to anyone in Germany or Spain that citizens who want to leave the EU should once again play a significant role in shaping its future.
“I can not allow the British tragedy to infect the rest of the EU and ultimately feed the populists.”
He added: ”A referendum could be one way of getting out of the UK’s blockade situation. But that’s a decision the British themselves have to make.”
On Sunday, Labour MP Caroline Flint claimed Labour 60-70 MPs are another Brexit referendum despite Mr Corbyn’s change of position.
Mr Schäuble’s call for Britain to make a Brexit backtrack comes as Mrs May’s attorney general Geoffrey Cox renewed talks with the EU.
The Government’s top lawyer wants assurances the Northern Ireland backstop in the prime minister’s Brexit deal isn’t permanent.
A “star chamber” of eight Brexiteer lawyers from the European Research Group (ERG) will give their legal opinion on whether Mr Cox has won the guarantees they want.