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Germany's Maas says hard Brexit 'not yet off the table'

Germany's Maas says hard Brexit 'not yet off the table'
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas arrives for the weekly cabinet meeting at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, August 22, 2018. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke   -   Copyright  HANNIBAL HANSCHKE(Reuters)
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BERLIN (Reuters) – German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas on Tuesday said there was still the risk of a hard Brexit and the European Union must prepare for every outcome in its divorce talks with Britain.

“Regrettably, a hard Brexit is not off the table,” Maas said in a wide-ranging speech that also touched on trade conflicts with the United States and what he called the growing threat posed by China’s state capitalism.

Maas also said EU officials were working on an independent payment system in light of the row with Washington over the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and U.S. sanctions that threaten European companies doing business in Iran.

(Reporting by Gernot Heller; Writing by Andrea Shalal)

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