Merkel to Convene Brexit Cabinet Next Week to Prepare for Talks

  • Schaeuble, Merkel chief of staff are part of special group
  • Need to ‘identify German interests’ in coming EU-U.K. talks

Angela Merkel

Photographer: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg

A group of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cabinet ministers involved in defining Germany’s stance for the coming Brexit talks plans to meet next week for the first time.

Merkel will convene the committee, which includes Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble and Peter Altmaier, her chief of staff, after a regular cabinet meeting on Jan. 18, government spokesman Steffen Seibert told reporters in Berlin on Friday.

“We must identify German interests to feed them into the negotiations,” he said.

It’s a sign that European Union governments are stepping up preparations for the EU’s negotiations with the U.K. as Prime Minister Theresa May pledges to trigger the formal process for leaving the EU by the end of March. Merkel has called Britain’s exit a watershed for the EU that requires the other 27 member countries to cooperate more closely.

German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel, Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Transportation Minister Alexander Dobrindt will also be attending the meetings, with Steinmeier formally as chairman.

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