“The clock is ticking and time is running out and we are really exhausted by these negotiations,” Michael Roth told journalists ahead of talks with his EU counterparts to prepare for this week’s EU summit.
On Monday, British parliament speaker John Bercow complicated Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit timetable by ruling out a repeat vote on her EU divorce deal, after which she could have asked EU leaders to delay the March 29 Brexit date.
With a regulated exit now all but impossible in 10 days’ time, there is no clarity out of London at present on what purpose an extension would serve.
In Germany’s view, the EU cannot grant an extension without “clear and precise proposals” from London, Roth said. “It’s not just a game. It’s an extremely serious situation.”
The mood among member states is “very bad,” he added.
“We need a decision,” said French EU Affairs Minister Nathalie Loiseau. “We are approaching this with good will. But we also have other issues to deal with and we have fellow citizens and businesses for whom the uncertainty is unbearable.”
Romanian EU Affairs Minister George Ciamba, whose country holds the bloc’s rotating presidency, echoed the call for London to clarify what it wants.
“Clearly there is no clarity. There is less clarity today than it was yesterday,” he said.
“In Europe, time is never running out. And I think there is still a lot of time,” he noted.