Angela Merkel threatens to restrict EU single market access unless Theresa May accepts free movement

Theresa May
Theresa May

Angela Merkel has stepped up pressure on Theresa May over Brexit by saying that the European Union must consider limiting UK access to the single market if it fails to accept free movement of EU citizens. The German chancellor repeated her mantra that there must be no negotiations based on "cherry picking" of the Union's four freedoms of movement for capital, goods, services and people. Her comments came as the Prime Minister played down suggestions that she was ruling out single market membership by insisting on the UK regaining control over immigration.

Speaking to civil servants in Cologne, Mrs Merkel said it was important for the EU to make clear that "access to the single market can only be possible on the condition of respecting the four basic freedoms. Otherwise one has to talk about limits.'' 

Mrs May fuelled speculation that Britain was heading for a "hard Brexit" outside the single market in an interview on Sunday in which she said she was not aiming to preserve "bits" of the UK's EU membership and added: "We are leaving. We are coming out. We are not going to be a member of the EU any longer."

Asked at a press conference in London on Monday whether she was effectively ruling out single market membership, the PM said: "What I said yesterday was what I have been saying for the past few months in relation to Brexit, notably that the vote on June 23 was very clear. "People wanted us to take control of immigration and people coming to the UK from the EU, but we also want the best possible deal in trade with and operating within the single European market for British businesses and likewise for European businesses operating in and trading with the United Kingdom. "I'm ambitious for the sort of arrangement and relationship that we can have with the EU when we leave membership of the EU, but we mustn't think of this as leaving the EU and trying to keep bits of membership. It's a new relationship. We will be outside the EU. "We will have a new relationship, but I believe that can be a relationship which has a good trading deal at its heart, the best possible deal for the UK. "I think that deal for the UK would also be good for the rest of Europe as well."

1010 views


More World news

 Maria Zakharova and her daughter become prototypes for children#039s book heroine

Maria Zakharova and her daughter become prototypes for children's book heroine

Видео

Why China attracts dynasties of Russian intellectuals

Britain wants to maintain Iran nuclear deal

Britain wants to maintain Iran nuclear deal

British foreign minister Boris Johnson said that the Iran nuclear accord that US President-elect Donald Trump has threatened to tear up must be maintained. As he went into an EU foreign ministers …

German foreign ministry comments on Trump’s remarks about NATO

German foreign ministry comments on Trump’s remarks about NATO

President-elect Donald Trump’s remarks that NATO is obsolete have caused concern at the US-led military alliance and also appeared at odds with his own officials, German foreign minister Frank-Walter …

EU to stand by Iran nuclear deal

EU to stand by Iran nuclear deal

EU foreign affairs head Federica Mogherini insisted the bloc will stand by the Iran nuclear accord, because it serves Europe's security needs. "The European Union will continue to work for the respect and …

Should we wait for new nuclear disarmament?

Should we wait for new nuclear disarmament?

No talks between the US and Russia on reducing nuclear potentials are in progress at the moment, the Russian presidential spokesman …

Ilham Aliyev offers condolences to Atambayev over plane crash

Ilham Aliyev offers condolences to Atambayev over plane crash

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has offered condolences to the Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev over the plane crash near Bishkek. "I was deeply saddened by the news of tragic death of …

Witnesses of Boeing crash in Kyrgyzstan about first minutes of tragedy

Witnesses of Boeing crash in Kyrgyzstan about first minutes of tragedy

Residents of the Dacha-Suu village, which was damaged by the cash of a Turkish Airlines cargo plane this morning, did not realize what happened at first, they thought it was an earthquake. Zumriyat …

Putin offers condolences to Kyrgyz president over Bishkek plane crash

Putin offers condolences to Kyrgyz president over Bishkek plane crash

Russian President Vladimir Putin has expressed condolences to his Kyrgyz counterpart, Almazbek Atambayev, over loss of life in the plane crash near Bishkek's airport, the Kremlin press service reported. …

Kazakhstan#039s Mailybayev accused of sharing classified information

Kazakhstan's Mailybayev accused of sharing classified information

Kazakhstan's state security service has detained President Nursultan Nazarbayev's former deputy chief of staff, Baglan Mailybayev, on charges of illegally collecting and sharing classified …

Crimea drafts UN resolution on Ukraine

Crimea drafts UN resolution on Ukraine

Crimean authorities have drafted a UN resolution on human rights violations committed while Crime was ruled by Kiev, the Chairman of the State Committee on …

more World news