BERLIN German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday that the European Union could not grant Britain full access to the EU's internal market if London did not accept the bloc's basic principle of free movement.
"We will lead no pre-negotiations. But we will say generally that full access to the internal market is coupled with accepting the four basic freedoms, and this includes the free movement of people," Merkel said in speech before members of the BGA trade association.
She added that if the EU granted Britain any exceptions in negotiating access to the internal market, it would create an "extremely difficult situation" for the bloc. She did not elaborate.
(Reporting by Michael Nienaber; Writing by Joseph Nasr; Editing by Madeline Chambers)