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Angela Merkel meets with Theresa May

Talks before the special European Council meeting on Brexit

Chancellor Angela Merkel has met with British Prime Minister Theresa May in Berlin. They discussed the UK’s impending withdrawal from the European Union. On Wednesday the heads of state and government will congregate in Brussels for a special meeting of the European Council to discuss how to proceed with Brexit.

Chancellor Angela Merkel in conversation with British Prime Minister Theresa May

Prime Minister Theresa May visited the Chancellor before the special European Council meeting on Wednesday

Photo: Bundesregierung/Denzel

In the run-up to the talks, federal government spokesperson Steffen Seibert underscored the fact that the remaining 27 member states stand united. "It has always been very, very important to us that the 27 remain united and speak with one voice in the entire discussion process about the consequences of the UK referendum," he said on Monday at the government press conference.

The talks are to be held in a spirit of respect for a democratic decision taken in the United Kingdom in the form of the referendum. The German government is also interested in ensuring that the United Kingdom remains as close a partner as possible, even after its withdrawal from the EU.

Special Brexit summit

On early Wednesday evening the EU leaders will meet in Brussels for a special European Council meeting called by Donald Tusk, President of the European Council. The only topic on the agenda is the UK’s impending withdrawal from the European Union.

The evening will start with a meeting of the European Council members with the President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani. The 27 heads of state and government will then discuss how to proceed on Brexit, without the British Prime Minister.

They will be looking at Theresa May’s request to extend the Article 50 process until 30 June. This would mean that the United Kingdom would be required to take part in the European elections, which had not hitherto been planned. The withdrawal date has already been postponed from 29 March to 12 April. Without an extension the United Kingdom will leave the EU without an agreement this Friday.