The German Chancellor called on Friday for fair and constructive negotiations with Britain over its exit from the European Union, with the aim of retaining a good partnership.
In a speech in Hamburg today, she said: “We will of course need, and want to have Britain as a good partner in the future.”
And she added that the Brexit negotiations would be “extremely complex and intense”.
Ms Merkel continued: “Britain will in future be less closely connected than until now, including in the economic domain.”
She also claimed it would be important nonetheless to have good ties with Britain on economic, security and defence policy.
Her comments come just days after the German leader warned Britons not to delude themselves over a future relationship with the bloc in a major speech to German politicians.
Speaking to the Bundestag, Ms Merkel said Brexit talks will put a strain on Britain and Europe.
To loud applause, she said: “We can only do an agreement on the future relationship with Britain when all questions about its exit have been cleared up satisfactorily.
“A third state, and that’s what Britain will be, cannot and will not have at its disposal the same rights… as members of the European Union.
“You may think this is all obvious. But I’m afraid I get the sense some in Britain still have illusions about Brexit – that would be wasted time.”
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