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Germany Warns UK Not to Delay Brexit Talks

Germany Warns UK Not to  Delay Brexit TalksGermany Warns UK Not to  Delay Brexit Talks

One day after Britain’s High Court ruled the government needs parliament’s approval to initiate the process of leaving the European Union, Germany’s foreign minister cautioned the UK against stalling the process on Friday.

“We need to ensure that the talks begin quickly even if the court decided this week that the British parliament must be consulted. Further delay isn’t in anyone’s interests,” Steinmeier said after meeting British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson in Berlin, DW reported.

The meeting was Johnson’s first bilateral visit to Berlin since taking office. He assured those present that the court’s ruling would not interfere with Prime Minister Theresa May’s timetable for Brexit talks; she has said she intends to trigger the exit process no later than the end of March 2017.

He described Britain’s pending exit from the European bloc as a “huge opportunity,” adding that “with the right spirit, I believe we can turn these negotiations into a win-win discussion”.

Earlier, the German Council of Economic experts said the best outcome of Brexit talks would be to avert the UK’s departure altogether.

“My preferred option would have been a different outcome to the British referendum,” Steinmeier responded, adding no further comment.

Following a chuckle from the audience and a moment of silence, Johnson also responded to the question by filling in what Steinmeier “did not say”.

“You will notice what Frank did not say-because he is a very wise man-that his preferred outcome would be another British referendum or an attempt to put the toothpaste back in the tube,” Johnson said.

Johnson also told reporters to “not read too much” into Thursday’s court decision, telling them to ignore the “Sturm und Drang” occurring in parliament.

Following the High Court ruling, Conservative lawmaker Stephen Phillips resigned from parliament due to “growing and very significant policy differences with the current government”. Phillips backed Britain leaving the EU, but said he wanted parliament to have more of a say. Parliamentary sovereignty was often one of the go-to arguments for Brexit campaigners during the referendum, with the Leave campaign’s main slogan being “take back control”.

London’s High Court ruled on Thursday that Britain’s Parliament, not only its government, must approve the start of Brexit negotiations to leave the European Union. The decision could prove problematic for May’s government, considering that a clear majority of UK parliamentarians, including roughly half of May’s Conservatives, advocated remaining in the bloc.

 

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