Merkel Says Europe's Future Could Be Two-Speed

Questioned by journalists on whether United Kingdom prime minister Theresa May is "too close" to the new USA administration, Merkel said that she acknowledged that there has always been a somewhat special relationship between the United Kingdom and the US.

It expands on the 12-point plan for leaving the European Union set out by the Prime Minister in her big Brexit speech last month. "The the only game in town when it comes to security", said Stephen Booth of the Open Europe think tank. "But we need to show that we can not stay silent where there are principles involved". Barack Obama referenced those goals when he traveled to the United Kingdom last spring to campaign against Britain leaving the EU.

"A lot of Europeans see this as, essentially, the United Kingdom trying to use the deal to blackmail the EU into giving lots of concessions to the United Kingdom and they don't take it kindly", he said.

The summit provided an opportunity to foster relationships ahead of the upcoming withdrawal negotiations, where the Prime Minister met German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Austria's Christian Kern, and Spain's Mariano Rajoy among others.

Merkel arrived early enough to catch up with the early bird of the leaders' arrivals, Theresa May, that did not offer any doorstep comments to the press corps.

And he added: "Who knows what the USA president really wants, particularly in relation to the Atlantic alliance and burden-sharing?"

May told them the European Union should work "patiently and constructively" with the new president because being antagonistic toward him would "only embolden those who would do us harm, wherever they may be", her office said.

Muscat said Europe would not be shy about expressing its view to Trump.

But Mrs Merkel said the conversation did not touch on the UK's relationship with the Trump administration: " We spoke, but not about that.

"We have again made very clear our common values and our faith in multilateralism", she told reporters.

The summit wrapped up with leaders - minus Britain's May - discussing a major declaration on the EU's future that they plan to unveil at a summit in Rome in March marking the 60th anniversary of the bloc's founding treaty.

"The work on immigration is still ongoing", Merkel said. There will be points on which we do not agree.

He said: "I do believe the United Kingdom is in a very delicate situation, right now".

The Prime Minister struggled when it came to selling her new friend President Trump to the 27 European Union leaders.

"Europe must organize its proper defense", Hollande said.

She added: "There will be points on which we agree, for example the struggle against worldwide terrorism".

The PM previously threatened to slash British rates to poach business for the European Union, but Mrs Merkel said there was "no need for a race" as "we need fair tax system for investment in society".

The chancellor must not "keep quiet about behaviour we can not accept", he said.

Much will depend here on how Trump himself handles Putin, whom he has praised over and over again, and on how threatened eastern Europeans feel by the new US-Russia axis.

Still, he said that there was a clearly alignment between May's view and those of the other European Union leaders.

The criticism of Trump came after it was revealed that the European Parliament's main political party is attempting to block Trump's expected choice for USA ambassador to the European Union.


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