REUTERS, 09th APRIL, 2019 - British Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday met Angela Merkel, the European Union’s most powerful leader, to seek support for a new Brexit delay while her ministers tried to break the deadlock in London at crisis talks with the opposition Labour Party.
More than a week after the United Kingdom was originally supposed to have left the EU, the weakest British prime minister in a generation has said Brexit might never happen as she battles to get a divorce deal ratified by a divided parliament.
With little sign of a resolution in London, May dashed to Berlin to seek support for her request to delay Brexit a second time, from April 12 to June 30. She was due to meet French President Emmanuel Macron later on.
May met Merkel at her riverside Chancellery, a short walk from the Brandenburg Gate, where Ronald Reagan in 1987 urged Mikhail Gorbachev to “Tear down this wall!” - the barrier that had divided West and East Berlin since 1961.
“The leaders discussed the UK’s request for an extension of Article 50 to June 30, with the option to bring this forward if a deal is ratified earlier,” Downing Street said.
“The leaders agreed on the importance of ensuring Britain’s orderly withdrawal from the European Union.”
While Merkel and May discussed Brexit inside, the opposition liberal FDP party drove an advertising van past the chancellor’s office with a slogan reading: “Dear Theresa May. Just do it. Stop Brexit. Make the most of Europe’s opportunities.”