Angela Merkel: no UK special deal on free movement
German leader Angela Merkel supports tough negotiating line with UK after Theresa May's 'hard Brexit' stance
Angela Merkel - PA
German chancellor Angela Merkel has reiterated that the UK will not have full access to the European single market without accepting free movement of people.
She urged business leaders yesterday to support a tough negotiating line against the UK in order to protect the integrity of the market as a whole.
“You can imagine how all countries will put conditions on free movement with other countries [if Britain can opt out]. And that would create an extremely difficult situation.”
She said giving a special deal to the UK would create a “systemic challenge” for the European Union.
Merkel also stressed that there would be “no pre-negotiations” before the UK Government triggers Article 50 next year, beginning a two-year process to leave the EU.
“We will say generally that full access to the internal market is coupled with accepting the four basic freedoms, and this includes the free movement of people,” she added.
During the referendum campaign, those advocating leaving the EU had repeatedly insisted that pressure from German businesses would mean Merkel would grant concessions to let trade continue without any tariffs.
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