April 10, 2019 / 12:05 PM / 12 days ago

Merkel backs Brexit delay of several months

German Chancellor Angela Merkel answers questions by members of Germany's lower house of parliament Bundestag, in Berlin, Germany, April 10, 2019, shortly before heading to Brussels for a meeting with other EU leaders on Brexit. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

BERLIN (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel wants European Union leaders meeting later on Wednesday to grant Britain a delay in its divorce from the bloc, but also to make sure once a decision is made in London, Brexit can take place quickly.

“This is a historic decision. For the first time, a country is leaving the EU. How will we look at this question in five or ten years time?” Merkel told German lawmakers in a question and answer session.

“I believe we should make an extension for several months but not drag it out. So if Britain has made its decision then an exit can take place immediately,” she said, adding she did not believe EU leaders would fail to reach an agreement due to differences between France and Germany.

Reporting by Madeline Chambers; Editing by Paul Carrel

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