Theresa May, U.K. prime minister, arrives for a European Union (EU) leaders summit in Brussels. (Photographer: Jasper Juinen/Bloomberg)

Germany Presses U.K.'s May to Offer Detailed Brexit Strategy

(Bloomberg) -- Germany pressed the U.K. to come up with more specifics in talks on quitting the European Union, saying it’s up to Prime Minister Theresa May’s government to decide whether the U.K. crashes out without a deal.

“The British government has to put good arguments and a strategy on the table as soon as possible because the clock is ticking,” Michael Roth, Germany’s deputy foreign minister for Europe, said in an interview with Bloomberg Television on Thursday.

“It’s a tragedy to see that the negotiations are so difficult,” he said. “In the end, it’s just in the hands of the British to decide if they’re in favor of a hard Brexit or a soft Brexit.”

European Union leaders meeting in Brussels on Thursday were supposed to sign off on a host of Brexit topics, but with negotiations bogged down on issues such as the Irish border with Northern Ireland they were focusing on other matters like refugees and trans-Atlantic ties.

Companies including Airbus SE and retailer John Lewis this week warned of the risks of Britain leaving without an orderly agreement.

May will provide an update of her government’s position on Thursday and her 27 EU counterparts will discuss the subject Friday. The British leader is expected to be warned about the prospect of a chaotic Brexit and told the bloc is taking steps to prepare for it.

“Sometimes I’m a little disappointed that we are negotiating on a very abstract level,” Roth said. “We need more details and we have to solve the problems, for instance the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland. This is extremely crucial for us and also the future of EU citizens in the United Kingdom.”

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