Germany’s Barley disappointed by May’s Brexit plan, suggests second referendum

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German Justice Minister Katarina Barley arrives for the weekly cabinet meeting at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, October 17, 2018. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

BERLIN (Reuters) – German Justice Minister Katarina Barley said on Tuesday she was disappointed by British Prime Minister Theresa May’s plan to break a deadlock over Brexit and called on Britain to hold a second referendum.

May on Monday sought to break the parliamentary impasse over Britain’s exit from the European Union by proposing to seek further concessions from the EU on a plan to prevent customs checks on the Irish border.

“Yes, I’m disappointed … that’s not the way forward,” Barley told Deutschlandfunk radio. She said May had missed an opportunity to drum up support for the Brexit deal agreed with the EU.

Barley, who has both German and British citizenship, said the draft deal would not be changed. But she added there could be leeway in terms of time if there was a second referendum. “This could pacify the situation,” she said.

A German government spokesman said late on Monday that Germany continued to advocate for an orderly exit and that it expected the British government to agree soon on proposals that are backed by a majority of parliament.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday she would do all she could to make sure Britain leaves the EU with an agreement.

Reporting by Michael Nienaber; editing by Thomas Seythal and Andrew Heavens



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