Maas – looking ahead together despite Brexit  United Kingdom

Foreign Minister Maas with his UK counterpart Johnson

Foreign Minister Maas with his UK counterpart Johnson, © Florian Gaertner/photothek.net

12.04.2018 - Article

During his first official visit to the UK as German Foreign Minister, Heiko Maas and his UK counterpart Boris Johnson agreed that Germany and the UK would draw up a strategic partnership in foreign policy.

Solidarity in difficult times

Maas underlined in Oxford that the UK’s decision to withdraw from the European Union was regrettable for both sides. However, this was now reality, and it was important to adapt to it as far as possible. Maas and Johnson therefore agreed to draw up a joint declaration on a strategic partnership in foreign policy. In the recent case of the poisoning of former Russian agent Sergei Skripal in the UK, it had become clear how important international solidarity is in difficult times, Maas said.

Western community of shared values

Foreign Minister Maas with his UK counterpart Johnson
Foreign Minister Maas with his UK counterpart Johnson© Florian Gaertner/photothek.net

Even after Brexit, Germany and the UK will retain close ties in the western community of shared values and stand together. This partnership is also expressed in the two countries’ membership of organisations such as NATO, the OSCE and the G7. Germany and the UK also share global policy interests such as upholding the Vienna nuclear agreement with Iran and combating climate change. Close coordination and a joint approach are also needed to resolve the crises and conflicts at Europe’s borders, such as those in Syria and eastern Ukraine.

Opening of the Königswinter Conference

The German UK partnership goes far beyond cooperation at governmental level. The Königswinter Conference – one of the most long standing and renowned forums for the exchange of Germany UK views – is a shining example of the close ties between the two countries’ civil societies. The conference is organised by the Deutsch-Britische Gesellschaft and receives funding from the Federal Foreign Office. Foreign Minister Maas gave the opening speech at the conference, which is addressing the topic “Brexit: leaving old certainties – defining the road ahead for UK German relations” this year.

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