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Angela Merkel describes Brexit deal as a ‘diplomatic piece of art’

Germany’s leader said it was ‘tragic’ that the UK was leaving the EU.

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaking in Brussels (OLivier Matthys/AP)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaking in Brussels (OLivier Matthys/AP)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaking in Brussels (OLivier Matthys/AP)

Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel has said the Brexit deal brokered between the European Union and Prime Minister Theresa May is a “diplomatic piece of art”.

Mrs Merkel, speaking in Brussels, said: “it’s a historic day, which triggers very ambivalent feelings … it is tragic that the UK is leaving the EU now after 45 years, but we have to, of course, respect the vote of the British people.”

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Angela Merkel speaks with European Union chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier (Geert Vanden Wijngaert/AP)

Angela Merkel speaks with European Union chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier (Geert Vanden Wijngaert/AP)

AP/PA Images

Angela Merkel speaks with European Union chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier (Geert Vanden Wijngaert/AP)

She praised the deal struck “in an extremely difficult situation, in a situation without any precedence because we haven’t had it before that a European country leaves the EU”.

Mrs Merkel said, while the agreement was based on very hard negotiations, it “considers both sides’ interest”.

PA