March 20, 2018 / 12:50 PM / a year ago

Merkel pleased about Brexit transition deal but says many problems remain

BERLIN (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Tuesday she was pleased that the European Union and Britain had agreed on a Brexit transition deal but added that there were still many challenges to overcome in negotiating Britain’s departure from the bloc.

Speaking at a joint news conference with visiting Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, Merkel said: “We were very happy to hear yesterday that there is an agreement between Britain and the European Union about the transition period.”

She added: “But of course we know that there are still a lot of problems to solve, especially the border issue in Northern Ireland, which is very sensitive and of course crucial, and all participants agree that a solution on that must be found and Germany completely supports Ireland’s position on this.”

On Monday Britain and the European Union agreed to a transition period to avoid a “cliff edge” Brexit next year, albeit only after London accepted a potential solution for Northern Ireland’s land border that may face stiff opposition at home.

Reporting by Paul Carrel and Madeline Chambers; Writing by Michelle Martin; Editing by Andrea Shalal

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