Berlin (dpa) – German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier lauded the European Union for extending Britain’s Brexit deadline but said he hoped the country would leave the bloc before parliamentary elections on May 23.It was “important to do everything to limit the negative consequences,” he said in comments to the German daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung published on Saturday. “This cannot be come an endless horror.” EU leaders this week granted Britain an extension until the end of October but said the country could leave earlier if it agreed a withdrawal deal. Steinmeier said he was sceptical of the idea of Britain taking part in upcoming EU elections.
“That is why it would be best if the British parliament reached a constructive majority for a withdrawal agreement quickly – that is, before the elections at the end of May,” he said. Steinmeier acknowledged the wrangling over Brexit was becoming ever harder to understand and explain. “Nevertheless,” he said, “it must be clear that Brexit is a deep wound with enormous consequences – for Britain, but also for Europe of the 27.”