February 16, 2018

UK’s Theresa May targets Brexit progress in talks with Germany’s Angela Merkel

By Billy

British prime minister Theresa May is on her way to Germany to meet with Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel where she hopes to make Brexit progress.

May is looking to find common ground with Merkel on the temporary “transition” period the UK wants to secure with the European Union after it leaves the trading bloc in March 2019.

May will tomorrow make the second in the so-called the road to Brexit cabinet speeches. She will also attend a security conference in Munich where she is expected to remind the EU of Britain’s role in guaranteeing its security.

Britain aims to strengthen defence ties with Germany after Brexit, including a plan to keep a military footprint in the country rather than withdraw by 2020.

It’s expected that May will be pushed to provide more clarity over her proposals for a post-Brexit trade deal, with Merkel publicly exasperated at the lack of a detailed plan from the UK.

Earlier this week a spokesman for Merkel said the British needed to come forward with concrete proposals, adding that “time is running out”.

Why it matters:

The UK is under growing pressure to set out its plans for Brexit and what it wants the country’s relationship with the EU to look like once it leaves the EU.

Speaking after the last round of talks, EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier said “substantial” disagreements remained and he had “some problems understanding the UK’s position”.


The UK’s foreign secretary Boris Johnson this week attempted to reassure voters that the UK’s split from the EU is a cause for “hope not fear”.

Johnson acknowledged the deep divisions Brexit has opened, attempting to woo despairing Remain supporters who think Brexit is a disaster.

In several weeks’ time, May will make a second speech on the UK’s future relationship with Brussels, following a cabinet away day summit at Chequers.

David Davis, the Brexit Secretary, and Liam Fox, the International Trade Secretary, are also expected to set out their agendas.

Earlier this week a report by MPs claimed government delays, uncertainty and under-resourcing are leaving the UK’s borders and immigration unprepared for Brexit.

A report by the House of Commons select committee of home affairs has raised concerns about the border force, which it says is already stretched because of “inadequate resources” and will be under more pressure because of new immigration checks for EU nationals and customs changes.

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