Merkel says 'still a chance' for deal on Brexit

WION Web Team England, UK Oct 17, 2018, 05.08 PM(IST)

Angela Merkel. Photograph:( Zee News Network )

Story highlights

Less than six months before Britain is due to leave, the impasse has increased the possibility of a 'no deal' Brexit that could potentially disrupt trade, delay movement of goods and starve the world's fifth largest economy of investment.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Wednesday that there was "still a chance" for an accord with Britain to leave the EU but that Berlin was preparing for a no-deal Brexit.

"There is still a chance to achieve a good and sustainable exit accord," Merkel told parliament ahead of a crunch EU summit in Brussels that will focus on Brexit.

"At the same time it is of course part of responsible and forward-looking governance that we prepare for all scenarios. That includes the possibility that Britain will leave the EU without a deal."

British Prime Minister Theresa May told her ministers on Tuesday they would secure a Brexit deal if they stood together, calling for a show of unity to silence those pressing her to rethink her strategy for leaving the European Union.

A day before heading to Brussels for a summit, May is keen to show she has her cabinet's support after facing pressure from some members of her Conservative Party and the EU to change tack on Brexit, Britain's biggest policy shift in more than 40 years.

Merkel said the efforts to find agreement were like "squaring the circle".

Less than six months before Britain is due to leave, the impasse has increased the possibility of a 'no deal' Brexit that could potentially disrupt trade, delay movement of goods and starve the world's fifth largest economy of investment.

May's spokesman said the cabinet had held "a very detailed and thorough discussion" on the border issue, with the team united in rejecting any deal that would split the United Kingdom and might "trap" Britain in the backstop indefinitely.

"The PM said there will no doubt be challenging moments ahead, that is in the nature of negotiations. She said she is committed to securing a Brexit that delivers on the referendum result, safeguards jobs and security, and which preserves our union," her spokesman told reporters.