With creativity, we can find Northern Ireland solution, Merkel says

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Keen to avoid the economic disruption a no-deal Brexit would bring to Germany's economy, which slowed sharply a year ago, Merkel also values Britain as a like-minded partner and wants to keep its security expertise close at hand.

Speaking to Japanese and German business leaders in Tokyo, Merkel stressed that "on the one hand, time is pressing" and businesses using "just-in-time" delivery processes could not afford lengthy customs procedures. "Two months is not a long time but there is still time, and this should be used by all sides". The UK is scheduled to leave the regional bloc on March 29.

Nevertheless, the German chancellor said that questions over crunch topics like the unpopular Northern Ireland "backstop" provision could be discussed in the so-called political agreement that accompanies the Brexit deal.

May is seeking legally binding changes to the deal to replace the Northern Irish backstop, an insurance policy that aims to prevent the reintroduction of a hard border between EU-member Ireland and the British province of Northern Ireland.

"It should be humanly possible to find a solution to such a precise problem".

Kate Middleton visits schools for Children's Mental Health Week
Kate also took part in an activity where students shared objects that represent something that makes them feel good. The Duchess has made mental health in the young one of the cornerstones of her public work.

Throwing the ball into London's court, she stressed: "It will be very important for us to know what exactly the British side sees as its future relationship with the European Union". "Then we need more gas", Merkel said in a speech at Keio University in Tokyo, in her first clear indication that she supported the recommendation.

British Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit deal was rejected by parliament last month and she is trying to persuade the European Union to accept changes to the agreement before the March 29 deadline for departure.

A top European Union official, however, sounded the alarm bell after talks with British MPs.

While European Commission Secretary General Selmayr, the long-time lieutenant of President Jean-Claude Juncker, had reiterated the EU line that it would not reopen the withdrawal agreement, Labour lawmaker Hilary Benn told reporters: "I got the impression that they might be prepared to consider some additional statement or legal protocol".

Brexit supporters accept there will be some short-term economic pain but say the United Kingdom will thrive if cut loose from what they see as a doomed experiment in German-dominated unity that is falling far behind the United States and China.

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