Germany urges UK to leave the EU

Germany’s European Affairs Minister held out the possibility of Britain achieving “special status” in its relationship with the European Union but pressed London to get on with starting talks on leaving the bloc early next year.

Michael Roth, Germany’s European Affairs minister, said Britain should be ready to negotiate at the start of 2017.

“Until the end of the year should really be sufficient time to get organized and adjust to the new situation,” he told Reuters in an interview on Tuesday. “We should not let too much time go by.”

According to Roth, only when Britain triggers “Article 50″, which sets the clock ticking on a two-year deadline to leave the EU, could serious discussions begin.

German offical noted that it should be possible to complete the negotiations within two years, in time for the next elections for the European Parliament in 2019.

“We can’t quibble about it. Even if we didn’t want or hope for it, Brexit won and as it won there can’t be any British members in the next European Parliament,” Roth said.