Merkel Throws May a Life Line, Possible Brexit Compromise
German Chancellor Angela Merkel helps embattled British Prime Minister Theresa May by suggesting a 'creative' Brexit compromise
Photo Ukrinform – UATV
German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday offered a way to break the deadlock over the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union, calling for a creative compromise to allay concerns over the future of Irish border arrangements. This was reported by Reuters.
With just 53 days left until the United Kingdom is set to leave the European Union, the UK is still struggling to come up with an acceptable exit plan that will please the EU as well as the British Parliament. British Prime Minister Theresa May has requested some last minute changes to the exit agreement to try to win over members of a recalcitrant parliament.
The major sticking point is the Northern Ireland backstop. This is an arrangement that will keep a ‘soft’ border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. This open border arrangement, a part of the Good Friday Accords which brought peace to Northern Ireland, would be problematic with a United Kingdom out of the EU and the free trade zone.
According to the Reuters article, Merkel did not specifically say she wants to renegotiate the exit deal; however, she did say that difficult questions could be resolved with creativity, a strong sign that the EU’s most powerful leader may be willing to compromise.
“There are definitely options for preserving the integrity of the single market even when Northern Ireland isn’t part of it because it is part of Britain while at the same time meeting the desire to have, if possible, no border controls,” Merkel said.
“To solve this point you have to be creative and listen to each other, and such discussions can and must be conducted,” Merkel said at a news conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo, as quoted by Reuters.
Of concern to Merkel is how a ‘hard Brexit,’ one without an agreed upon deal, could affect Germany’s economy. The uncertainty of Brexit is already causing issues inside the UK.
The automaker Nissan recently announced that it would not produce a certain model car in the UK even though it had stated that it would in the past. The plane manufacturer Airbus has also expressed concerns about its wing production facility in Wales. In the financial sector, some companies are relocating offices out of the UK as a way to blunt the impact of a possible chaotic Brexit on the near horizon.
Meanwhile, Theresa May has said that she will continue to fight for a Brexit deal that is palatable to as many as possible.
“I will be battling for Britain and Northern Ireland, I will be armed with a fresh mandate, new ideas and a renewed determination to agree a pragmatic solution that delivers the Brexit the British people voted for,” said May, according to Reuters.