Merkel speaks during the budget debate in the Bundestag, the lower house of parliament in Berlin on Wednesday. Axel Schmidt/ Reuters
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday there was still every chance for Britain's divorce from the European Union to take place with a deal although Berlin is prepared for a disorderly Brexit in case that does not happen.
“We still have every chance of getting an orderly (Brexit) and the German government will do everything it can to make that possible - right up to the last day. But I also say we are prepared for a disorderly Brexit,” Merkel told parliament.
“But the fact remains that after the withdrawal of Britain, we have an economic competitor at our door, even if we want to keep close economic, foreign and security cooperation and friendly relations,” Merkel added.
The 28 EU leaders are trying to agree on who will steer the bloc over the coming years through the looming challenges of Brexit and the rise of populist parties in Europe.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson visits Paris on Thursday, a day after Berlin offered a glimmer of hope that an agreement could be reached to avoid a chaotic “no deal” Brexit.
Cross-party talks to resolve the Brexit crisis are reaching the end, Prime Minister Theresa May’s government indicated on Tuesday, with reports suggesting she wants a conclusion by the middle of next week.
A man drove an SUV into a suburban Chicago mall on Friday, sending frightened shoppers scurrying and plowing over a kiosk before he crashed into a clothing store and was arrested.
Groups of China supporters pulled down “Lennon Walls” of anti-government protest messages across Hong Kong on Saturday, raising the possibility of clashes with democracy supporters and another weekend of trouble.
More than 7,000 police officers are to be deployed for rallies in Paris on Saturday over fears that yellow vest protesters and their radical, anarchist “black blocs” could try to infiltrate a march against climate change in the French capital.