BERLIN (Reuters) - Britain should be given a reasonable amount of time to work out its exit from the European Union, though the delay to Brexit could be longer than British Prime Minister Theresa May has requested, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday.
The EU will grant May a second delay to Brexit at an emergency summit on Wednesday but leaders will debate a longer extension with conditions to prevent any future British leader jeopardizing the bloc.
May has asked EU leaders to postpone Britain’s exit until June 30.
“I am, and the government is, of the view that we should give the two parties a reasonable amount of time,” Merkel said of Britain’s ruling conservatives and opposition Labour Party, who are in talks to find a Brexit deal.
“We will deliberate over what kind of extension we want to grant Britain. It could well be that it is a longer extension than has been requested by the British prime minister,” Merkel told Germany’s Bundestag lower house of parliament.
“But we will organize this extension such that when Britain has passed the Withdrawal Agreement, Britain can very quickly thereafter execute the exit in an orderly fashion,” Merkel said.
“So, in summary, the government is still very interested in an orderly exit of Britain from the European Union,” she added.
Reporting by Paul Carrel, editing by Thomas Escritt