Merkel expresses 'regret' over May's Brexit defeat amid fears of no-deal

AFP - [email protected]
Merkel expresses 'regret' over May's Brexit defeat amid fears of no-deal

German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged British MPs to reject Wednesday a potentially chaotic no-deal exit from the EU, saying that an "orderly" Brexit was in both sides' interest.


"Achieving an orderly exit together, and I particularly want to repeat this today, remains in our mutual interest," Merkel said, expressing "regret" that Britain's parliament on Tuesday had rejected for a second time the withdrawal deal agreed between Brussels and Prime Minister Theresa May.

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"That remains our objective," she added.

Merkel said it was up to the British parliament to provide clarity about how it wants to proceed with the divorce agreement.

She praised the "unity" of the 27 remaining member states during the Brexit negotiations.

"And because we 27 are working for each other and with each other, it is also important to reach a sensible result," she told reporters after talks with her counterpart from Laos, Thongloun Sisoulith.

"But we can't make it happen on our own. Rather, we are dependent on finding common solutions."

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The House of Commons is expected later Wednesday to vote against leaving the bloc without a deal, although it remains the default option come March 29th unless an alternative can be secured.

A further vote is scheduled for Thursday on delaying Britain's departure date but there is no agreement on how long an extension should be and no certainty the EU will agree to it.

Michel Barnier, the EU's chief Brexit negotiator, said Brussels had done "everything it can" and must now brace for the possibility of a messy divorce.

Asked whether she would be open to a delay, Merkel said she would wait for the outcome of the votes in the British parliament before deciding on the next steps.

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