November 12, 2019 / 10:07 AM / a month ago

Merkel expects British parliament to approve Brexit deal

FILE PHOTO: German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte (not pictured) hold a news conference in Rome, Italy, November 11, 2019. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

BERLIN (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Tuesday that she expected Britain’s parliament to approve British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s divorce deal with the European Union.

The United Kingdom voted by 52%-48% in 2016 to quit the EU, albeit without deciding how it would be done. Parliament, however, has been deadlocked since a 2017 snap election over how, when and even whether to leave.

Johnson, who had promised to deliver Brexit on Oct. 31 “do or die”, demanded a Dec. 12 election after parliament - where he has no majority - frustrated his attempts to ratify the last-minute divorce deal he struck with the EU in October.

“I give this treaty a very, very big chance of being agreed to in Britain too and that would be good for all of us,” Merkel told a business event in Berlin.

Johnson on Monday won the most significant boost of the election campaign to date when Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party pulled out of 317 Conservative-held seats in a bid to prevent opponents of Brexit controlling the next parliament.

The move dramatically increases the chances that Johnson will stay as prime minister before finally delivering on the 2016 referendum result to take Britain out of the European Union.

Reporting by Michelle Martin,; Editing by Joseph Nasr and Ed Osmond

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