Foreign Minister Heiko Maas met his UK counterpart, Jeremy Hunt, during the latter’s first official visit to Berlin as Foreign Secretary on Monday (23 July). Their talks focused on the questions that have yet to be resolved as regards the UK’s exit from the EU. The UK Government recently presented a White Paper containing detailed ideas on the future relationship between London and Brussels. These concepts are now being reviewed by the European Commission. However, many of the proposals raise questions on both sides of the Channel.
Joint agreement rather than Brexit chaos
For Foreign Minister Maas, the priority is that the EU and the UK agree binding rules for Brexit and beyond. “We want an agreement, not a disorderly Brexit,” Maas said. He underlined that both sides need to talk more with each other to achieve this.
Strategy for a common future
In view of the still uncertain future, it is important to Foreign Minister Maas that the partnership between Germany and the UK be strategically realigned. “Despite Brexit, we will continue to stand up for shared values and interests,” he said. Maas and Hunt thus also discussed the situation in Syria, the increased pressure on free trade and the future of the nuclear deal with Iran from which the US will withdraw. The Foreign Ministers announced that a joint declaration on the future German-UK foreign policy partnership would be drawn up.