Merkel presents EU council presidency plans, calls for more unity

Merkel presents EU council presidency plans, calls for more unity

German Chancellor Angela Merkel appeals for unity and solidarity within the European Union to tackle the coronavirus pandemic as she presents her country's European Council presidency plans, Al Jazeera reports.

Speaking to the European Parliament in Brussels on Wednesday, Merkel called for support for the disputed EU-wide economic recovery package.

"I believe in Europe. I am convinced by Europe," she said. "No one can make it through this crisis alone. We are all vulnerable."

Merkel also spoke about the United Kingdom's exit from the EU.

Germany will continue to push to seal a new partnership agreement with the UK by the end of the year, but the EU should prepare for an abrupt split of ties from 2021, she said.

"Progress in negotiations thus far has been slim, to put it diplomatically," Merkel told the European Parliament.

"We have agreed with the UK to accelerate the pace of the talks ... I will continue to push for a good solution, but we should also prepare for a possibility of a no-deal scenario."

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