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Merkel says still time for Brexit solution

Merkel says still time for Brexit solution
February 5, 2019
TOKYO (Reuters) - There is still time to find a solution to the impasse on Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in Japan on Tuesday. British Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal was rejected by parliament last month and she is trying to persuade the EU to accept changes to the agreement before the March 29 deadline for departure. “From a political point of view, there is still time,” Merkel told an economic conference in Tokyo. “That should be used, used by all sides. But for this it would be very important to know what exactly the British side envisages in terms of its relationship with the EU,” she said. Acknowledging that the tight timeframe was difficult for businesses desperate for certainty given “just-in-time” production systems, Merkel said the “special” problem was the Irish border and the backstop agreement. “It should be humanly possible to find a solution to such a precise problem. But this depends ... on the kind of trade deal that we forge with each other,” she said.
Britain must talk further about how to leave EU – Merkel
Earlier, the European Union has done almost all it can to reach a satisfactory agreement on Britain’s exit from the European Union, and it is Britain where further discussions are most needed on the matter, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said. Addressing a congress of the German employers’ association BDA in Berlin, Merkel said she would do everything she could to secure an orderly Brexit, since a chaotic exit from the EU would overshadow future ties between the EU and its departing member. “I will do everything possible to get an exit agreement,” she said. “A disorderly Brexit is the worst possible thing, not just for the economy but for the mental situation regarding our future relationship.” “We would already have an agreement if it weren’t for the (Irish border),” she added. “We’ve made a bit of progress, but it will take a lot more discussion, especially in Britain. As member states we can only do two things: deal with Britain in a friendly spirit of partnership, and hold together as the remaining 27.”