February 13, 2019 / 1:13 PM / 6 months ago

Merkel strives for orderly Brexit but says deal must be fair

FILE PHOTO: British Prime Minister Theresa May leaves after a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany December 11, 2018. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

BERLIN (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday she would do everything she could to achieve an orderly Brexit before the March 29 deadline but said any deal must be fair and work in practice.

With just weeks before Britain is due to leave the European Union, Prime Minister Theresa May is trying to persuade the EU to reopen a divorce agreement agreed by both sides last year but rejected by British lawmakers.

“We agree that we must do everything to achieve an orderly Brexit,” Merkel told reporters at a news conference with Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel.

“It is about providing as much security as possible and we both feel a duty to do everything for a deal but it must be a fair agreement that works in practice and we have some work ahead,” she said.

Bettel ruled out renegotiating the EU’s deal with Britain.

“It is not possible to find a better result. The priority is to protect the integrity of the EU internal market and minimise the effects of Brexit for citizens,” he said.

Reporting by Madeline Chambers and Riham Alkousaa; Editing by Thomas Seythal; Editing by Janet Lawrence

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