By Ayhan Simsek
Germany is preparing for all Brexit scenarios, including the U.K. leaving the EU without agreement, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday.
Addressing lawmakers in parliament ahead of an EU leaders summit, Merkel expressed hope for reaching an agreement between the EU and U.K. on time, but also said that Berlin was ready for all options.
“The chance of concluding a good and viable agreement on time is still there, and of course it is in our interest,” Merkel said.
“At the same time it is part of a responsible and future-oriented governance to be ready for all scenarios, including the possibility that the U.K. will withdraw from the EU without a deal. And as the federal government, we have also started preparing ourselves for that scenario,” she added.
Merkel underlined that the EU would like to maintain a close and trusted partnership relation with the U.K., even after its withdrawal from the bloc.
Brexit negotiations between the EU and U.K. broke up on Sunday without a deal, due to disagreements on the Irish border issue.
EU leaders are gathering in Brussels on Wednesday evening for a two-day summit, which would focus on the U.K.'s exit talks from the 28-member bloc, issues of migration and internal security.
British Prime Minister Theresa May is scheduled to address EU leaders on the state of the U.K.'s exit talks at the gathering.
Later, leaders of 27 member states and EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier will discuss the way forward in Brexit talks.