‘Britain to accept weaker economic ties with EU’

Frankfurt am Main: Britain will have to “accept the consequences” of having weaker economic ties with the European Union because of Brexit, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday.

Merkel hardened the tone from Berlin as Germany and its EU partners strive to draw up an agreement on future relations between Brussels and London after Britain´s departure from the bloc.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants to be able to define the scope of those relations but “thereafter he will of course have to accept the consequences — that is, an economy less tightly linked” with its continental neighbours, Merkel said in an interview with the Europa newspaper alliance.

After leaving the EU, Britain and Brussels have been working on establishing new trade links to come into force once a post-exit transition period expires at year´s end.

Germany is meanwhile to take over the EU´s rotating presidency for six months from July 1.

“We must get away from the idea that it is we who define what the United Kingdom may wish,” indicated Merkel, who has consistently sought to help bring about an outcome which avoids a hard Brexit.

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