May in Berlin to plead case for new Brexit delay
BERLIN (AP) — Prime Minister Theresa May brought her case for a further delay to Britain’s departure from the European Union to Berlin on Tuesday, while German and French officials insisted that any extension to the deadline must come with strings attached and assurances from London.
May and German Chancellor Angela Merkel met for about an hour and a half, shaking hands for photographers but making no remarks to reporters. The German government had no comment on the outcome of the talks. May was headed to Paris later to meet French President Emmanuel Macron, who has appeared to take a harder line on cutting Britain more slack.
Britain’s partners in the 28-nation European Union say they want clarity from May about what she will do to break the Brexit logjam if another delay is granted. Officials are signaling that they’re not keen to give Britain a blank check, though they also want to avoid a chaotic Brexit later this week.
Michael Roth, Germany’s deputy foreign minister, said as he arrived at an EU meeting in Luxembourg that “we are in a very, very frustrating situation here.” But he also said that a disorderly Brexit would be “the worst of all options on the table.”
May’s Conservative government and the main opposition Labour Party have been trying to find a compromise Brexit deal before EU leaders decide Wednesday whether to grant a second extension to the U.K.’s departure. If they refuse, Britain faces a sudden departure on Friday, the deadline set a few weeks ago by the EU. The country was originally supposed to leave on March 29.
May has asked for a new delay until June 30.