German chancellor Angela Merkel has said that the European Union will not let Ireland down in Brexit talks.
Merkel said during a debate on the German presidency of the European Union that the EU wants a trade deal with the UK, but it will stick with Ireland to secure the best outcome from negotiations.
She explained: “We want an agreement: from the Irish point of view in particular it is extremely important.
“We won’t let Ireland down but will continue to stick together in these exit negotiations,” she added.
“But we have to bear in mind the realities because an agreement has to be in the interests of both sides, in the British interest and in the interest of the EU’s 27 member states.”
The comments follow Merkel’s Europe minister warning that the bloc is prepared for the “worst-case” no-deal scenario.
Michael Roth said: “Frankly speaking, we are at a very critical stage in the negotiations. We are extremely under pressure, time is running out.
“That’s why we expect substantial progress by our friends from the UK in key areas.”
He added: “We are well-prepared for both scenarios, everybody should know that a no-deal scenario is the worst case, not just for the European Union but also for the United Kingdom, but we are also prepared for that.
“But we are working very hard on a good deal, on a sustainable deal which is acceptable for both sides.”