- Merkel Warns U.K., No Special Access to Europe Single Market
The Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel said on Thursday that there will be no special access to Europe single market as it is tied to the complete acceptance of the four basic freedoms of the European Union.
“If we don’t insist that full access to the single market is tied to complete acceptance of the four basic freedoms, then a process will spread across Europe whereby everyone does and is allowed what they want,” she said.
Referring to Prime Minister, Theresa May’s timeline of triggering Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty by the first quarter of 2017, the chancellor said “there will be no easy negotiations” and insisted no talks prior to the stipulated time.
According to Merkel, the central question then will be “how much access to the single market does Great Britain get, and in a reciprocal way, how much access to the British market do we get?” Merkel told an audience of business leaders. “And how ready are we to link this access politically so that the four freedoms are defended.”
Like other EU leaders, Merkel has shown little or no willingness to bend on adherence to the core EU principles of free movement of goods, services, capital and people. That last category is the focus of May’s government, which has pledged to curb immigration from EU countries following June’s shock referendum result to quit the EU that upended British politics and brought her to power.