Prime Minister Theresa May in Berlin
Working as partners to address global political problems
Even after the Brexit referendum, Germany and the United Kingdom intend to continue to cooperate closely on the basis of mutual trust, assured Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister Theresa May before their bilateral meeting in Berlin. Topics on the agenda included the economic situation in Europe and refugee policy.
"This is a good opportunity to exchange views – I welcome you very warmly here in Berlin Theresa!" With these words, Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomed British Prime Minister Theresa May to Berlin. Following the meeting of six leaders, they intended to discuss matters "that we have to regulate together within the European Union," stressed Angela Merkel. The United Kingdom, she said, is an important partner in efforts to resolve numerous global political problems.
During the visit of Barack Obama, President of the United States of America, a meeting was held at the Federal Chancellery that brought a total of six leaders around the table: President Obama, Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister Theresa May, French President François Hollande, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.
Not a "Brexit" meeting
Angela Merkel made it quite clear to her visitor from London that the meeting would not be about "Brexit" since the EU intends to wait for the United Kingdom to trigger Article 50, as it plans to do by March 2017. It is up to the British side to notify the European Union now, she said.
Theresa May explained that her government is on track to initiate this as a smooth and orderly process by next spring. She is working towards a solution that is in the interests of both the United Kingdom and its European partners, she said.
Addressing the root causes of migration – a joint responsibility
The Chancellor mentioned the issues of migration and partnership with the African continent as issues which she wished to discuss with Theresa May. Another issue she cited was the economic situation in Europe and in the world. In this context, Angela Merkel pointed to Germany’s G20 Presidency, which will begin on 1 December. NATO was another matter on the agenda.
Prime Minister Theresa May announced that the United Kingdom supports all efforts of the EU to tackle the root causes of migration and displacement in the countries of origin. Other challenges that can only be tackled together, she said, include the terrorism perpetrated by the so-called Islamic State, the war in Syria and relations with Russia.
Condemning the atrocities in Aleppo
With a view to Aleppo in particular, all six leaders were united in their condemnation of the atrocities being committed there, said Theresa May. Pressure on Russia must be upheld in this context, including the option of imposing sanctions on those who violate international humanitarian law.
Theresa May thanked the Chancellor for taking the initiative and hosting the six leaders’ meeting. It had given them the opportunity to thank President Obama for his cooperation over the last eight years. She expressed her hope that, even after the United Kingdom leaves the EU, it will continue to be closely involved in discussions of topical global political and security issues in a format like this one, as well as within the framework of the G20, G7 and NATO.
Nov 18, 2016