After a summit with Irish premier Leo Varadkar in Dublin the German chancellor said she was following the passage of the Cooper-Letwin backbench bill, currently being steamrollered through the House of Lords, with ‘great interest’.
But with just eight days to go until Britain possible leaves the EU without a deal, Taoiseach Mr Varadkar warned Westminster politicians to present ‘a credible and realistic way forward’ if they are to get another Brexit delay from EU leaders.
An emergency European Council summit has been arranged for Wednesday, just two days before the potential Brexit day of April 12.
The two leaders put on a show of soft strength in the Irish capital today, hinting that they would look favourably on a fresh british attempt to delay Brexit.
Appearing with Mr Varadkar in Dublin Mrs Merkel said: ‘Until the very last hour – I can say this from the German side – we will do everything in order to prevent a no-deal Brexit; Britain crashing out of the European Union.
‘But we have to do this together with Britain and with their position that they will present to us.
‘We will simply have to be able to do this. We have to be successful and we hope for a solution that we can agree together with Britain.’
Theresa May is currently trying to find a cross-party consensus through talks with Jeremy Corbyn.
At the same time the Cooper-Letwin bill going through the Lords would ensure there is a legal requirement on the Prime Minister to seek an extension to Article 50 to prevent a no-deal.
It could become law early this week, ahead of the Wednesday summit.
Earlier the Irish and German leaders spoke at an event with 15 people from Northern Ireland and the border area about the impact a no-deal scenario could have on their lives.
They heard from some victims of violence, as well as farmers and business people.
Meeting Leo Vradkar in Dublin, Angela Merkel said: ‘Until the very last hour – I can say this from the German side – we will do everything in order to prevent a no-deal Brexit’
Afterwards Mr Varadkar warned: ‘Any further extension must require and must have a credible and realistic way forward’
Afterwards Mr Varadkar said: ‘Matters continue to play out in London and I think we need to be patient and understanding of the predicament that they are in.
‘But of course, any further extension must require and must have a credible and realistic way forward.’
Mr Varadkar restated that the EU was ‘prepared to amend the Political Declaration’ if the UK’s red lines shifted.
‘Both Ireland and Germany want to have a future relationship with the UK which is close and comprehensive and as deep as possible, and we would like to see the Withdrawal Agreement ratified so that we can begin the negotiations on a new economic and security partnership without further delay,’ he said.
But he added: ‘There is very little time left and we have to prepare ourselves for all outcomes.’