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Brexit and beyond United Kingdom

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas meets UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas meets UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, © Thomas Trutschel/photothek.net

20.02.2019 - Article

Heiko Maas and British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt emphasise the two countries’ shared future.

Brexit is keeping Europe’s capitals on tenterhooks. But it will not prevent there being a close partnership between Germany and the UK, as Foreign Minister Heiko Maas stressed during his British colleague’s visit to Berlin:

There will still be life for Germany and the UK after Brexit. Because we have a full bilateral agenda, and a no less full international agenda, which we intend to tackle together.

Leaving Brexit aside, Germany and the UK have lots of plans, including a strategic dialogue to bring foreign-policy practitioners from the two countries together more often. A Joint Compact on Global Responsibility is to be signed soon and implemented via projects in the field of security and strategic challenges. “Because our priority is precisely this,” stressed Maas: “to shoulder global responsibility together”. Germany and the UK are currently working closely together in the UN Security Council. Together with France, they established the special purpose vehicle INSTEX, because all three countries want to keep alive the nuclear deal with Iran.

Brexit: ready for talks

Maas emphasised that the EU was ready to talk about how a solution could be found for Brexit. “I welcome the fact that the discussions on ways London can imagine are becoming more concrete. The result of hard work, the withdrawal agreement is a fair compromise approved by all EU member states. It is the position of the whole EU,” he said. The backstop was needed as an assurance measure, he went on, so that Brexit would not lead to a hard border in Ireland. Both foreign ministers want to avoid a no-deal Brexit and believe that a deal is still possible.

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