German Leader Merkel to ‘Fight to the Last Hour’ to Prevent No-Deal Brexit
Mood among EU member states on Brexit is “very bad”, according to Germany’s EU Affairs Minister.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has declared she was ready to struggle till the end in order to guarantee that there would be an “orderly” Brexit instead of a no-deal scenario in Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union.
Merkel declared her resolve to help avoid a Brexit outcome that would be detrimental to all sides at a conference in Berlin on Tuesday, just as a spokesman for UK Prime Minister Theresa May confirmed she was going to write European Council President Donald Tusk to ask the EU for a Brexit delay.
At the same time, the EU’s Chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier warned any Brexit extension request by the Britain must be well justified because it would “prolong uncertainty”.
“I will fight to the last hour of the deadline on March 29 for an orderly exit [of Britain from the European Union],” Merkel vowed, as cited by DW.
“We don’t have a lot of time for it but still have a few days,” Germany’s Chancellor emphasized, just 10 days before the originally set Brexit date of March 29, 2019.
“I must say that I’m not in a position to speculate on what I will do on Thursday because it depends on what Theresa May will tell us,” she added, referring to the upcoming EU leaders’ summit in Brussels during which Brexit delay options will be discussed.
She promised, however, that the EU leaders would “try to react” to whatever May proposes regarding a Brexit delay, and stated that she wanted good relations with Britain after Brexit.
Meanwhile, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas also stressed that he would rather give the UK more time to find a solution than end up with a no-deal scenario.
“If more time is needed, it’s always better to do another round than a no-deal Brexit,” Maas told a news conference in Helsinki.
“The clock is ticking and time is running out and we are really exhausted by these negotiations,” German EU Affairs Minister also Michael Roth told journalists, reiterating Barnier’s warnings that the EU could not grant an extension without “clear and precise proposals” from London.
“It’s not just a game. It’s an extremely serious situation,” he added, saying that the mood among member states was “very bad.”
UK leader Theresa May’s proposed Brexit deal with the EU has been rejected twice by the British Parliament.
On Monday, the Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, unexpectedly declared that May could not seek a third vote on it without “substantial” changes, largely dashing the Prime Minister’s hopes to get the deal through before March 29.
(Banner image: Video grab from Angela Merkel on Twitter)