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8/21/2019, 3:40 PM (Source: TeleTrader)
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Merkel hopes for 'most friction-free' Brexit possible

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday that she will be meeting United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson later in the day to discuss how they can ensure Britain's departure from the European Union is as "friction-free" as possible.

"Today I will talk with the British prime minister, who is visiting me, about how we can get the most friction-free British exit from the European Union possible as we must fight for our economic growth," Merkel stated during a conference on air transport. She also pointed out that once the UK leaves the EU, it will not be guaranteed all the advantages member states have when it comes to the bloc's air transport market and stressed Britain will need to negotiate a new air traffic deal with the EU after Brexit.

Despite Johnson's calls earlier this week to remove the Irish backstop from the existing Brexit deal, Merkel insisted the issue of the Irish border can be addressed without reopening the withdrawal agreement. The German chancellor noted that once the two sides find a "practical arrangement," the backstop will not be needed anymore. Earlier, the EU rejected the possibility of removing the backstop unless a "legal operational solution to prevent the return of a hard border on the island of Ireland" is agreed.

Breaking the News / NP