The Telegraph — Angela Merkel has said that there is “zero indication” that Britain will leave the EU without a deal and suggested that Tory eurosceptics calling for Theresa May to walk away from talks are “absurd”.
The German Chancellor conceded that “both sides need to move” to break the Brexit deadlock and said for the first time that the “ball” is in the European Union’s court as well as the UK’s.
She rejected suggestions by senior Eurosceptics that Britain should now walk away from talks and say it is leaving the EU, describing the suggestion as “absurd”.
Mrs Merkel was speaking after a dinner at which Mrs May urged the UK to give the EU a deal it can “defend” to the British people.
She said: “No I do not only see the ball with Great Britain. I do see it with Great Britain, but at the same time I also see the ball with us.”
Joseph Muscat, the Maltese Prime Minister, said that Mrs May’s performance was her “best yet”.
The German chancellor made the comments after Theresa May has appealed to EU leaders to give her a deal that she can “defend” to the British people as she rejected their demands to agree to a huge Brexit divorce bill.
The Prime Minister said at a dinner in Brussels that there is a “clear and urgent imperative” for the EU to break the Brexit deadlock and move on to trade talks.
It came after a succession of EU leaders told the Prime Minister that she must make a clear commitment to paying a Brexit divorce bill if she wants to move on talks.
But they are expected to offer Mrs May an agreement to start internal “scoping” work on their trade stance ahead of a possible green-light for the second phase of negotiations, dealing with trade and the transition to Brexit, at their next gathering on December 14-15.