Britain has to accept weaker economic ties with EU – Merkel

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'If the United Kingdom does not want regulations comparable to that of Europe in terms of the environment, the labor market or social norms, our relations will lose intensity,' says German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

BREXIT. Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson walks with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen inside 10 Downing Street in central London on January 8, 2020, ahead of their meeting. Photo by Kirsty Wigglesworth/POOL/AFP

FRANKFURT, Germany – Britain will have to"accept the consequences" of having weaker economic ties with the European Union because ofMerkel hardened the tone from Berlin as Germany and its EU partners strive to draw up an agreement on future relations between Brussels and London after Britain's departure from the bloc.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants to be able to define the scope of those relations but"thereafter he will of course have to accept the consequences – that is, an economy less tightly linked" with its continental neighbors, Merkel said in an interview with the Europa newspaper alliance. After leaving the EU, Britain and Brussels have been working on establishing new trade links to come into force once a post-exit transition period expires at year's end."We must get away from the idea that it is we who define what the United Kingdom may wish," indicated Merkel, who has consistently sought to help bring about an outcome which avoids a hard Brexit.


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