Europe

German ministers to hold 1st Brexit meeting Wednesday

German Chancellor Angela Merkel talks after she was given an honorary doctorate by the University of Leuven and the University of Ghent during an academic ceremony in Brussels on Thursday Jan. 12, 2017. Merkel received the honorary doctorate for her diplomatic and political efforts to develop the political strength of Europe, and to defend the values that allow Europe to find unity in diversity. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel talks after she was given an honorary doctorate by the University of Leuven and the University of Ghent during an academic ceremony in Brussels on Thursday Jan. 12, 2017. Merkel received the honorary doctorate for her diplomatic and political efforts to develop the political strength of Europe, and to defend the values that allow Europe to find unity in diversity. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)  (The Associated Press)

Angela Merkel's spokesman says the chancellor will meet with key ministers Wednesday to begin formulating Germany's position on Britain's departure from the European Union.

Steffen Seibert says it will be the first time the Cabinet's specially created 'Brexit' committee holds a formal meeting. It takes place a day after U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May gives a much-anticipated speech with details of Britain's goals in exit negotiations with the EU.

Other members of the Cabinet committee include Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel, Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble and Merkel's chief of staff, Peter Altmaier.

Seibert told reporters in Berlin on Friday that "German interests need to be identified in order to bring them to the negotiations."

Germany and Britain have Europe's first and second biggest economies, respectively. They enjoy close business and cultural ties.