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.
Merkel added that Germany would keep trying to find solutions to disputes over Iran’s nuclear program that averted escalation.
“Step by step we will keep trying to find solutions with Iran that prevent an escalation of tensions in a globally sensitive region. That’s our job,” Merkel told the lower house of parliament.
US-China trade war
Merkel also said that the trade conflict between the US and China was hitting Germany, which has traditionally relied on exports to propel its economy.
“We have international uncertainty due to the US-China trade conflict and that is of course having an impact on an export nation like Germany,” Merkel told the Bundestag lower house of parliament.
Hong Kong human rights
Merkel also told lawmakers that China’s economic rise brings an increased responsibility for Beijing on the world stage, adding that she had told Chinese leaders last week that upholding human rights was indispensable.
“It’s the right thing to do for Germany to pursue ties with China in all areas, economically but also in the various dialogue formats we have about the rule of law and about human rights,” Merkel said.
“During my visit, I again pointed out that upholding human rights is indispensable for us. This applies in general, and it also applies for the situation in Hong Kong, where we continue to view the principle of ‘one country, two systems’ as the right one.”
Germany will do its part to avoid a proxy war in Libya, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday, warning that the situation in the North African country risked destabilizing the whole of Africa.
“In Libya, a situation is developing that can take on similar dimensions to what we have seen in Syria .. and it’s imperative we do everything we can to make sure this does not escalate into a proxy war and Germany will play its part,” Merkel told the Bundestag lower house.
“The whole of the African region will be destabilized if Libya is not stabilized,” she added.