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26/09/2016

Merkel ‘looking forward’ to meeting new PM May

UK & Europe

Merkel ‘looking forward’ to meeting new PM May

Angela Merkel will hope to continue her good relationship with Downing Street, now that it will have a new occupant.

[German Embassy London/Flickr]

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) does not want to put incoming British Prime Minister Theresa May under any undue pressure when it comes to Brexit. EurActiv Germany reports.

During a television interview late last night (12 July), Angela Merkel said that the new Conservative government would need time to clarify “what kind of relationship they want with the European Union”.

She added that this decision will then affect how the country’s exit negotiations will proceed with the other 27 member states. Merkel said that Westminster would be given the time to “think it over carefully”. The German chancellor also said that she was looking forward to meeting May, who is the UK’s first woman prime minister since the late Margaret Thatcher.

Merkel’s comments confirm that Germany is not in as much of a rush as other member states for the UK to begin negotiations on the terms of its exit.

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The former Home Secretary is set to formally take the reins of power from David Cameron later today (13 July); Cameron announced his intention to resign on the morning of the 24 June, when it became clear the UK had voted to leave the EU.

Initially, the outgoing PM suggested that he would leave his position in September, but May’s swift dismissal of her main rivals, Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and Andrea Leadsom, led to an earlier changing of the guard.

May previously stated that she would not be initiating the UK’s exit from the bloc before the end of this year, by triggering Article 50, but this comment was made before Cameron brought forward his resignation.