BERLIN — German Chancellor Angela Merkel says Britain must present its European Union exit plan before divorce negotiations can begin but British Prime Minister Theresa May says the U.K. will not start the talks until “our objectives are clear” — and that won’t be this year.
May is in Berlin Wednesday for talks with Merkel. It’s her first foreign trip since taking office last week.
At a joint press conference, Merkel said “it is up to the British government to define its principles for the EU exit and also to trigger the necessary steps. She said “it’s only then that negotiations for the exit can take place.”
May says Britain will not invoke Article 50 of the EU constitution, triggering formal exit talks, this year. She says Britain’s goal is to retain “the closest possible economic relationship” with Germany and other EU countries.
But Merkel continued to say that “Nobody wants a long period of limbo — neither the British people nor European member states.”
The chancellor also stated that Britain and Germany would enjoy strong economic relations even after Brexit.