Theresa May tells Angela Merkel: ‘Brexit is not a one-way street’

Posted On: 
16th February 2018

Theresa May has called on Europe’s leaders to cooperate on Brexit, telling Angela Merkel the negotiations should not be “a one-way street”. 

Theresa May and Angela Merkel gave a joint press conference today in Berlin

Speaking alongside the German Chancellor in Berlin today, Mrs May insisted that the UK would continue to work closely with Europe on security and would seek a “bold and ambitious economic partnership”.

But the Prime Minister also stressed that European leaders must work together to achieve a Brexit deal that would be mutually beneficial.

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“It isn’t just a one-way street, that’s what is important. I want an economic partnership that is good for the European Union, that is good for Germany, that is good for the remaining members of the European Union and is good for the United Kingdom,” she said.  

“I believe that through the negotiations we can achieve just that economic relationship alongside, obviously, ensuring that we continue to have a good security partnership too.”

Asked about the UK’s stance on Brexit negotiations Mrs Merkel replied that she was “not frustrated at all,” but was “just curious how Britain envisages this future partnership".

“We would like to preserve this close partnership and maybe both sides, in a way, are in a process of learning and trying to find out where we find common ground,” she said.

The German leader also remarked that while she still “deplores” Brexit she was looking “forward to Britain setting out their ideas".

The meeting comes ahead of a key speech tomorrow in which Mrs May will set out how the UK and Europe will continue to face down threats to international security.

She said today: “Now is not the time for us to reduce cooperation, it’s the time for us to look to see how we can  develop on the existing cooperation in a way that is going to be dynamic and agile for the future.”

“Because as the threats evolve, as they grow, as they don’t recognise borders, so we need to continue that cooperation and be able to adapt to the threats as they come. So, I’ll be setting out in more detail tomorrow what I think that security partnership should look like.”