BERLIN (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel said there was still a chance of concluding an agreement for an orderly exit for Britain from the European Union, but Berlin was preparing for all options, including the possibility of a no-deal departure.
Addressing the German parliament ahead of a Wednesday evening European summit on issues including Brexit, Merkel said agreement had yet to be reached on arrangements for the border between the north and south of Ireland.
Germany’s preparations for the possibility of Britain leaving the EU without a withdrawal agreement included looking at the status of the roughly 100,000 British citizens who lived in Germany and the status of those of them who were German state employees.
“I want Britain to be a close and trusting partner for Europe after leaving,” she said. “Now, as before, there is a chance of reaching a good and solid withdrawal agreement.
“But it must be clear that in the end there will always be a difference between membership of the EU and being a partner,” she added.
Reporting by Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi and Michelle Martin, writing by Thomas Escritt; Editing by Madeline Chambers