January 19, 2019 / 11:14 AM / 3 months ago

We have responsibility to get an orderly Brexit, says Merkel

FILE PHOTO: German Chancellor Angela Merkel attends a news conference after a European Union leaders summit in Brussels, Belgium December 14, 2018. REUTERS/Piroschka Van De Wouw/File Photo

BERLIN (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday she would do all she could to make sure Britain leaves the European Union with an agreement and, striking a conciliatory tone, she felt a responsibility to get an orderly solution.

The rejection this week of London’s deal with the European Union by British lawmakers has thrown the process into disarray with options ranging from a no-deal Brexit in 10 weeks time to staying in the bloc.

“I will work until the very last day to get a solution with a deal for Britain’s exit from the EU and I will work towards having the best relationship,” Merkel said at a conservative party event in the northern city of Rostock.

Merkel said Germany respected Britain’s decision to leave, but added: “We have a responsibility to shape a divorce process so that people don’t shake their heads at us in 50 years time and say why weren’t they in a position to make a compromise?”

She said even after Brexit, Britain should be an important partner.

Merkel has previously said it is up to British Prime Minister Theresa May to say where she sees the process going from here.

Reporting by Madeline Chambers; Editing by Janet Lawrence

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