DUBLIN/LONDON (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday she hoped discussions between Prime Minister Theresa May’s government and the opposition Labour Party could break the Brexit impasse by an April 10 emergency European Union summit.
Brexit is now mired in doubt, nearly three years since the United Kingdom shocked the world by voting 52 percent to 48 to leave the bloc. Supporters fear betrayal and opponents are pushing for another referendum.
Unless May can agree to a closer post-Brexit economic relationship with the EU as advocated by Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, Britain could be forced at the summit, two days before Britain is due to leave the bloc, into a long Brexit delay of around a year.
May offered to quit to get her deal passed but it was defeated for a third time on Friday, the day Britain was originally due to leave the EU, so she turned to Labour. Two days of talks have not yet produced a way out of the maze.
“We hope that intensive discussions in London can lead even by next Wednesday, when we will have our extraordinary summit, to a position that British Prime Minister Theresa May can present to us, that we can then discuss,” Merkel told a news conference with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar in Dublin.
“We will then stay together as 27. We will do everything, as I’ve already said, to the last hour, to prevent a disorderly exit,” Merkel said.
Merkel added that there had been a lot of movement in the British position over the past few days. Varadkar said EU leaders must be patient while talks continue in London.
Corbyn, a veteran socialist campaigner whom May has repeatedly derided as unfit for office,