Angela Merkel warned the British today (Thursday) that they could not hope to have the same rights as EU member states after Brexit. She did so criticising particular “illusions” in that respect within the United Kingdom at the present time.
Chancellor Merkel told MPs in Berlin that, “A non-EU country will not enjoy either the same rights, or more advantageous rights than a member state” of the EU. This comes ahead of a European summit, intended to establish the EU’s red lines in the negotiations with the British government around Brexit.
Merkel added, “Maybe you think that all of this is obvious, but unfortunately I must state it clearly. This is because I have the feeling that some in Britain are under illusions upon the subject.”
She insisted that believing the United Kingdom could obtain advantages more or less equivalent, after leaving the EU, to those which it currently enjoys, “would be a waste of time.”
The Chancellor said that she was expecting “difficult” negotiations in the months to come. She said, “There is no doubt about this.”
As to the bill which Britain must settle in order to leave the EU, the Chancellor considered that “from the start, the negotiations should include the question of Britain’s financial obligations. This includes after Brexit.”
Mrs Merkel also reiterated that the discussions around the terms of Britain’s leaving the EU should first and foremost be resolved “in a satisfactory manner.” She said that these must be concluded before approaching the framework of future relations between Britain and the EU. The British government would prefer to negotiate both issues at the same time.
The German Chancellor said that this particular chronology is “irreversible.”