At the same time, the German leader promised to continue working on an agreement with Britain.

Germany will continue efforts to reach a new partnership agreement with the UK by the end of the year, but the EU should prepare for a sharp break in relations from 2021, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday.

“So far, there has been little progress, if we speak diplomatically,” Merkel said, speaking in the European Parliament. Germany has just begun its six-month presidency of the Council of the European Union.

“We have agreed with the UK to accelerate the pace of negotiations… I will continue to make efforts to achieve a good solution, but we also need to prepare for a scenario in which there will be no deal.”