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Statement by Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock prior to her departure for the United Kingdom

05.01.2023 - Press release

My visit to London is about jointly looking to the future after Brexit. We will be meeting for our first German‑UK Strategic Dialogue, through which we aim to make our partnership fit for the future. For this, we need to build new bridges in the areas of youth exchange and worker mobility, as well as for university students and research – in short, in areas where people come together. Furthermore, we want to engage in even closer dialogue, so that we can provide Ukrainians with weapons and winter relief, as well as help them with sanctions packages, so that they can win the war and live in freedom and peace, like us. The sooner Putin realises that his brutal war of aggression is doomed to fail, the more swiftly we can begin to hope for an end to the war.

To this day, the Achilles heel of our relations, as the EU, with the United Kingdom is the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol. It is key that we find a responsible and pragmatic solution for Northern Ireland, on the basis of existing agreements. It is the only way we will realise the full potential of our partnership. At the same time, as we engage in our new relationship, we are under an obligation to get the very best results for those who are directly affected. While we cannot turn back the clock, we can decide to step forward into a good common future.

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