German Chancellor Angela Merkel
(R) and British Prime Minister Theresa May attend a press conference
after talks at the chancellery in Berlin on July 20, 2016. ©AFP
British Prime Minister Theresa May says her government will not begin negotiations on leaving the European Union (EU) this year.
her first foreign trip since taking office, May told German Chancellor
Angela Merkel that she needed time to prepare for a “sensible and orderly departure.”
will not invoke Article 50 until our objectives are clear, which is why
I’ve said already this will not happen before the end of this year,”
May said on Wednesday, referring to the formal process for leaving the
May also noted that Britain would not “walk away” from Europe and would retain the “closest economic links.”
agreed that the UK needed time to plan the negotiations, saying it was
in the interests of both sides that London had a “well-defined position” before the talks.
The European Union, British and German flags fly at the chancellery in
Berlin on July 20, 2016 ahead of the visit of British Prime Minister
Theresa May. © AFP”No one wants things to be up in the air — neither Britain nor the member states of the EU,” the German chancellor said.
we look at all matters and challenges facing us, it’s most important to
have Britain as a partner and we will do so and then negotiate on
Britain leaving,” she added.
Merkel, however, stressed that there was a need for a “certain timeline” for the UK’s departure.
June 23, some 52 percent (17.4 million) of British people voted in a
referendum to leave the EU after 43 years of membership, while roughly
48 percent (16.14 million) of people voted to stay in the union.
vote result has caused political turmoil in the country, where David
Cameron announced his resignation and Theresa May was named as the new
premier within a few weeks.
The vote has also sent economic
shockwaves through Britain as well as global financial markets. The
pound has slumped to a record low against the dollar.