February 13, 2018 / 3:29 PM / 9 days ago

May to meet Germany's Merkel on Friday

LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Theresa May will meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on Friday as Britain and its European Union partners head into crunch negotiations about Brexit.

May is hoping to clinch a deal next month for a transition period that would smooth Britain’s exit from the European Union in 2019.

She and several of her ministers are hoping to spell out Britain’s case for a good Brexit deal in a series of speeches in the coming weeks, starting with one by foreign minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday.

The European Commission’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, said last week a post-Brexit transition deal was “not a given” and London had objections to the EU’s offer.

A German official said on Tuesday the country’s new government would not change its Brexit stance after Merkel’s conservatives and the Social Democrats reached a coalition deal last week.

Reporting by Alistair Smout; Editing by William Schomberg and Robin Pomeroy

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