BERLIN (Reuters) – Britain must understand that it won’t have advantages over its 27 peers in the European Union once negotiations over its exit from the bloc are concluded, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said in remarks published on Saturday.
“There is no free lunch,” Schaeuble told the Funke Media Group, using an English expression. “Britons must know that.”
Chancellor Angela Merkel this week warned Britons not to delude themselves that they would continue to enjoy EU rights after Brexit and insisted the bloc would only agree on future ties with London after they have nailed down a deal to leave.
British Prime Minister Theresa May said Merkel’s remarks underlined how tough Brexit negotiations will be.
Schaeuble added: “We don’t want to weaken Britain. But we also don’t want that the rest of Europe is weakened. Britain should not have advantages after the exit, that other countries don’t have.”
(Reporting by Joseph Nasr; Editing by Catherine Evans)