Politics Home Secretary Amber Rudd tells Merkel: You can still depend on the UK after Brexit

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'We are going to be a strong partner to [European partners] in defence and security, and, we hope, in trade,' Rudd said.

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Amber Rudd

(Twitter - @benatipsosmori)
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LONDON — Britain's home secretary Amber Rudd has insisted the UK wishes to retain a "deep and special partnership" with the EU after Brexit.

Her comments came after German chancellor Angela Merkel distanced herself from the US and UK on Sunday. Merkel said the EU had to "fight for its own destiny" following the election of US President Donald Trump and Brexit.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Monday, Rudd said that Britain would continue to work closely with the EU once it leaves the bloc.

She said: "As we begin the negotiations about leaving the EU, we will be able to reassure Germany and other European countries that we are going to be a strong partner to them in defence and security, and, we hope, in trade.

"This is going to be the most important negotiation that this country has embarked on for many decades. Making sure that we get this right is going to be absolutely critical, and we don't underestimate the difficulty.

"We can reassure Mrs Merkel that we want to have a deep and special partnership so that we can continue to maintain European-wide security to keep us all safe from the terrorists abroad and those that are trying to be nurtured in our country," she said.

Merkel, who is on the campaign trail ahead of German elections in September, told a crowd in Munich on Sunday that "the times in which we could completely depend on others are on the way out."

Merkel said that the relationship between Berlin and new French President Emmanuel Macron should be a priority.