The Latest: German minister sees hope of ‘soft’ Brexit – Minneapolis Star Tribune
LONDON — The Latest on British politics (all times local):
Germany’s foreign minister says there may now be a chance of a “soft” British exit from the European Union but is warning that Britain couldn’t pick and choose its conditions.
Brexit negotiations start Monday, after British Prime Minister Theresa May lost her parliamentary majority in an election meant to strengthen her hand.
German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel told Sunday’s Welt am Sonntag newspaper that “maybe there is now a chance to achieve a so-called ‘soft Brexit.'” But he said staying in the EU single market would require Britain to accept EU workers’ freedom of movement.
He said it would also have to accept the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice, “or at least a joint court that is staffed by Europeans and Britons” and in principle follows the ECJ’s rulings.
The British government plans to have the next Parliament hold a two-year session to deal with the expected onslaught of Brexit-related legislation.
Parliament normally sits for one year, but officials said late Saturday night more time will be needed.
House of Common leader Andrea Leadsom said Parliament will need “the maximum amount of time to scrutinize these bills” by holding a two-year session.
The legislation is expected to include the Great Repeal Bill to convert existing European Union law into United Kingdom statutes.
Prime Minister Theresa May has been struggling to put together a working government since the Conservative Party lost its majority in the June 8 election. She is seeking an arrangement with the Democratic Unionist Party in Northern Ireland.
Formal Brexit talks with the European Union begin Monday.