Germany’s Merkel says hopes Britain votes to remain in EU

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says the European Union should respond in a calm and inclusive way to whatever result emerges from the British referendum on EU membership.
Merkel said after meeting her Austrian counterpart in Berlin Thursday that she doesn’t favor discussing the consequences in small groups of EU countries. She said: “overall, I think discussions must now be continued with 28 (countries) if possible and otherwise with all countries – that would be 27 – but my hopes are pinned on it possibly being able to remain 28.”
READ: Brexit vote: Remain 55 per cent, Leave 45 per cent, says Populus online poll
She noted that an already-scheduled EU summit starting next Tuesday will give countries “the opportunity to discuss all together and calmly how we continue to implement our agenda.”
Meanwhile, Denmark’s prime minister said “it would be a tough job” to work out what would happen if British voters decide to leave the European Union. Lars Loekke Rasmussen says work would start Friday, adding he hopes for “a peaceful divorce” should Britain leave the bloc that it joined at the same time as Danes in 1973. The Scandinavian nation has opted out of parts of EU treaties for fear of losing sovereignty but it has no plans for a membership referendum.
Norwegian Foreign Minister Boerge Brende, whose country twice has rejected EU membership, wrote Thursday on Twitter “Fingers crossed for (hashtag) remain.” The oil-rich nation has signed up to the European Economic Area agreement and thereby access to the EU’s huge single market.

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