BERLIN (AA): The U.K. wants an orderly exit from the European Union and would not trigger the process before end of this year, British Prime Minister Theresa May said Wednesday in Berlin.
Addressing a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, May said all sides need time to prepare for the exit negotiations.
“The U.K. would not invoke Article 50 [of the Treaty on European Union] until our objectives are clear. And that’s why I have said already this will not happen before the end of this year,” she said.
“We should strive for a solution which respects the decision of the British voters but also respects the interests of our European partners,” she added.
Merkel said she also believes that a good preparation ahead of EU exit negotiations is important.
“It is absolutely understandable that a few days after a new government has been formed in Great Britain, this new government has to consider what their interests are, and they are going to discuss this in Great Britain,” she said.
“A good preparation in my point of view is important and it is also in the interest of the EU. And this is the reason why we are going to wait for the moment.”
Merkel underlined that any informal or formal negotiation on Brexit would begin only after the U.K. invokes Article 50.
“A good negotiating process and a sensible and constructive one is in all of our interests. So we will wait for the moment when the UK invokes this – and then we will put our guidelines on the table,” Merkel said.
May made her first overseas visit as prime minister to Germany on Wednesday, to discuss the Brexit, after British citizens voted to leave the EU in a June 23 referendum .
May expressed decisiveness to move forward with Brexit plans, but also underlined that the U.K. wants to have strong ties with the EU and Germany.
“I have been clear that Brexit means Brexit, and the U.K. is going to make a success of it,” she said.
“But I also want to be clear here today and across Europe in weeks ahead that we are not walking away from our European friends. Britain will remain an outward-looking country and Germany will remain a vital partner and a special friend for us,” she added.
May said that during her meeting with Merkel they also discussed international issues, developments in Ukraine, the civil war in Syria, and the refugee crisis.
“Germany and the U.K. have often been a strong and united voice around the world. Our countries have already agreed to deepen our bilateral military partnership and to do more together to tackle organized crime,” she said.
“We will continue to work together to stem the flow of migrants across the Aegean and the Mediterranean. And in light of the terrorist attacks in Nice and Wurzburg, we must strengthen our efforts to defeat Daesh and stand up for the values that we share,” she added.
May will next travel to Paris on Thursday for talks with French President François Hollande on Brexit and bilateral ties.
Author Ayhan Şimşek
[Photo: Prime Minister of Uk Theresa May (L) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel (R) attend a press conference after their meeting at German Chancellery in Berlin, Germany on July 20, 2016. Photographr: Mehmet Kaman/AA]