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Brexit: EU has strong Brexit negotiating position, says German Foreign Minister

In his official statement after British Prime Minister Theresa May officially triggered the UK's application to leave the European Union, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said that Berlin was glad the waiting was finally over.

"The EU-27 made good use of the run-up to the formal British application," Gabriel said. "We know what we want. We have a clear differentiated negotiating position and will give the EU Commission a strong mandate."

The EU, and not Germany, will negotiate the specifics of Brexit with London, but the views of Germany - the bloc's biggest member - will carry considerable weight. Now that the process is officially underway, the next step is for the other 27 EU countries to agree a mandate on the principles according to which the bloc will attempt to hammer out a favorable agreement. That should take place by late April.

Gabriel said negotiations would be carried out without acrimony.

"The sentence 'Let's stay friends,' which often rings hollow in personal relationships, is the right one here," Gabriel said. "We need one another. We should do everything to continue to maintain good, friendly relations with London in the future."

But just as in a romantic relationship between individuals, there are limits to how far the post-Brexit friendship between the EU and the UK will go."

First the divorce, then further talks

Read more: EU has strong Brexit negotiating position, says German Foreign Minister | TOP STORIES | DW.COM | 29.03.2017

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