Wolfgang Schäuble insisted that “Britons must know” they will not have any advantages over their 27 peers once Brexit negotiations have concluded.
Using the English expression to directly attack Theresa May, Mr Schauble said “there is no free lunch”.
He 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.”
His warning comes after German chancellor Angela Merkel warned British politicians to rid themselves of “illusions” over the UK’s status after Brexit.
Taking a hard line ahead of negotiations, Mrs Merkel said: “A third-party state, and that’s what Britain will be, cannot and will not have at its disposal the same rights, or be in a better position than members of the European Union.
“I have to say this clearly here because I get the feeling that some people in Britain continue to work under illusions, and that is a waste of time.”
In the midst of her General Election campaign, Theresa May is pleading with Scottish voters to support the Conservatives so Brexit will be a success.
The Prime Minister is expected to say later today: “My message to the people of Scotland today is clear: if you vote for me it will strengthen my hand in the Brexit negotiations.
“It will strengthen the Union, strengthen the economy and together the UK and Scotland will flourish.
“Because when Scotland is flourishing, the rest of the United Kingdom is flourishing too.”
Yesterday, EU Council President Donald Tusk waded into the Brexit debate and said the EU will refuse to begin Brexit negotiations with the United Kingdom until the issue of Ireland is resolved.
Mr Tusk added: “Before discussing our future, we must first sort out our past.”
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