How the women handle things: Angela Merkel and Theresa May report a friendly 1st Brexit talk

BERLIN, GERMANY - JULY 20: Theresa May, prime minister of the United Kingdom (L), speaks at a press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on July 20, 2016 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images)

When Angela Merkel and Theresa May met on opposite sides of the European Union negotiating table this week, the women seemed to put differences aside to begin working on what might be an amicable divorce settlement between the United Kingdom and the E.U. following the Brexit vote last month. The German chancellor and the new British prime minister held a press conference Wednesday after their first meeting to discuss the U.K.’s exit, and both said it had been a friendly meeting.

“We have two women here . . . who want to get on with the job and want to deliver the best possible results for the people of the U.K. and the people of Germany,” May said as she stood next to Merkel.

“Exactly,” Merkel added, smiling. “I completely agree with that.”

The friendliness of the meeting may have been, in part, due to the fact that no formal negotiations were formally on the table yet, as Merkel has said discussions won’t begin in earnest until the U.K. triggers Article 50, the clause for leaving the E.U. Merkel said Wednesday that whenever Britain is ready to begin talks, Europe will “listen to what Great Britain wants, and we will find the right answer.”

The women have much in common — both are daughters of pastors, born in the 1950s, and have become pragmatic leaders of center-right parties. They will work together over the next months and years to figure out what a post-Brexit world will look like.

Read the full story at The Washington Post.


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