January 18, 2019 / 6:36 AM / 9 months ago

Germany's Maas: We need to talk about whether to reopen Brexit accord

FILE PHOTO: Germany's Foreign Minister Heiko Maas looks on during a 'Global Ireland' news conference in Dublin, Ireland January 8, 2019. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne/File Photo

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said a discussion should be held on whether to re-open the draft deal for Britain’s planned exit from the European Union, but only if all EU members agreed.

Maas told public broadcaster ZDF late on Thursday he had spoken to Britain’s foreign minister, adding that it had become clear this week that there was no majority for a no-deal Brexit in the British lower house.

Earlier on Thursday, he said it was “hardly imaginable” that the Brexit withdrawal agreement would be reconsidered.

“So the question is what the deal looks like,” he told ZDF.

“In the end, it will be about the question (of) whether to reopen the deal which needs the approval of all 27 member states, which means that everyone has to join in. This is what needs to be discussed now,” he said.

“The British have up to now always said what they don’t want. Now they must also say what they want,” Maas added.

On Wednesday, Chancellor Angela Merkel told lawmakers that for her, “it is clear that there cannot be any renegotiations”, according to two participants in a closed-door meeting.

Reporting by Tassilo Hummel; Editing by Kim Coghill and Raissa Kasolowsky

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