Berlin, July 21: Germany has agreed with the UK on Wednesday (July 20) that latter's new Prime Minister Theresa May needed time to prepare for talks to exit the European Union (EU), a stand which found backing from a majority of the people of the country. [UK shows first signs of leaving EU; gives up European Council presidency]
May, who embarked on her first foreign trip after taking over from David Cameron who decided to quit the premier's office in the wake of the June 23 referendum on Brexit, told German Chancellor Angela Merkel that her goevrnment would not invoke Article 50 to leave the EU before the end of 2016 till its objectives became clear. [What is Brexit and why it is important?]
The UK on Wednesday gave initial hints of leaving the EU by giving up its presidency of the European Council which was due to begin in 2017. That would mean Estonia, whose turn was set to begin in January 2018, would chip in earlier.
Merkel, who is expected to play an important role in the Brexit talks, agreed to the UK's stand saying it would help everybody if the latter took a suitable position to begin the talks. She said neither the UK nor the EU would want things to be uncertain.
Merkel also said that it's most important to have Britain as a partner before negotiating on its exit.
PM May, the second woman to lead the UK after the late Margaret Thatcher, has sought patience for her government was working out a strategy for ending the 43-year-old partnership with the EU. Some member-states of the union, however, have sought the UK's earliest exit.