Merkel wants dialogue before Brexit negotiations

German Chancellor Angela Merkel told Britons on Thursday not to delude themselves that they would continue to enjoy European Union rights after Brexit and insisted the bloc would only agree on future ties with London after they have nailed down a deal to leave.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks at the W20 Summit in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, April 26, 2017.

"A third-party state will not have the same rights or even superior rights to a member state", Merkel said ahead of a Brussels summit Saturday on Brexit.

Striking a firm tone in a speech to the Bundestag lower house of parliament before a weekend summit on Brexit, Merkel also said talks on Britain's financial obligations to the European Union would have to be addressed early on in the talks. "But sadly I feel I have to mention them all again so clearly because I think some people in Britain still have illusions", she said.

Merkel says Germany will talk with European Union partners about "which precise consequences are appropriate and at what time".

"We can assume that the remaining 27 members will send out a strong signal of unanimity on Saturday", she said.

She once again insisted the EU27 will put on a united front and sought to build bridges with Britain, saying Germany does not sek to punish the UK for leaving the bloc. The order was "not reversible", Ms Merkel said.

Government leaders from the 27 will meet to endorse the guidelines, which will bind the European Union executive's negotiator Michel Barnier once he launches full negotiations with London after the British election on June 8.

A spokesman for Mrs May said: "The PM had a constructive meeting this evening with President Juncker of the European Commission".

He added they also discussed "issues of strategic interest".

In her toughest message on Brexit to date, Ms Merkel pledged the European Union would put its interests first and manage the negotiations in its chosen way.

The EU says it expects the talks to begin in earnest after that election - when Mrs May hopes to strengthen her parliamentary majority - and when she has confirmed her negotiating team, which is now led by Mr Davis.

  • Leroy Wright