Angela Merkel said on Wednesday in a statement at the European Union's summit in Brussels that she wants Britain to remain a close and trustworthy partner after splitting from the bloc.
Brexit-backing MPs have reacted angrily to the idea that the United Kingdom's transition out of the European Union could be extended for another year, to the end of 2021. Downing Street refused to rule out an extension after a Wednesday summit of EU leaders in Brussels failed to make progress.
European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker has warned the UK there will be no Brexit deal without agreement on the Irish border. On a visit to Dublin, Mr Juncker said fellow EU member states would not let Ireland be “isolated” on the impasse, insisting the demand for a resolution was a Europe-wide demand.