What relationship does Great Britain wish to have in future with the European Union? The designated Prime Minister of Great Britain must achieve clarity on this issue, said Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin. “Because, of course, the negotiations depend on this.”
The vote by the British population to leave the EU was the main focus of the discussion between Federal Chancellor Merkel and the Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny. Therefore both leaders spoke about issues of European unity as well – also from the perspective of the remaining 27 member states.
Merkel emphasized that both Ireland and Germany have a significant interest in a strong EU. A union that, according to the Chancellor, brings prosperity to the people.
“It is the new British government's decision as to when they want to make this application, in terms of Art. 50 of the EU Treaty, to the European Council,” said the Chancellor. At this point it should become clear what relationships Great Britain wants to establish with the EU. The negotiations will only be able to commence after the new British government has made the application, said Merkel.
In this regard, every member state has the same goal: to ensure that its economy is not affected, or is affected as little as possible. In this spirit, the negotiations will be carried out together, emphasized the Chancellor.
Art. 50 of the EU Treaty (extracts)
(1) Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.
(2) A Member State which decides to withdraw shall notify the European Council of its intention. In the light of the guidelines provided by the European Council, the Union shall negotiate and conclude an agreement with that State, setting out the arrangements for its withdrawal, taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union.
The remaining 27 EU member states must decide which main points they want to focus on. “We have a good strategic agenda for our work,” said the Chancellor. “And we will need to pursue this agenda with even more intensity.”
The main issues are jobs, economic growth, the ability to innovate, and also the safety of the citizens in the EU. The European Council will meet on 16 September in Bratislava, to further discuss these main issues, said Merkel.