German Chancellor Angela Merkel on June 27 reportedly said that the United Kingdom will have to ‘accept the consequences’ of having weaker ties with the European Union because of Brexit. While speaking about the future relations between Brussels and London after Britain leaves the union, Merkel reportedly suggested that the door leading to UK’s current flow of trade with the bloc should now be closed. She said that the EU needs to let go of the idea that it is for the bloc to define what Britain should want.
While speaking to an international media outlet, the German Chancellor said that British PM Boris Johnson will be able to define the scope of the relations between EU27 and UK, however, she added that ‘thereafter he will have to accept the consequences’. With her statements, Merkel made it clear that her priority was to push through a pandemic rescue plan to stop Europe’s economy sliding into the worst slump since the 1930s.
Merkel’s statement also comes as Germany is all set to take over the EU’s rotating presidency for six months from July 1. While 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, Merkel reportedly said that if the UK does not want regulations comparable to that of Europe in terms of environment, the labour market or social norms, the relations between the EU and Britain will lose intensity.
The negotiations between the EU and UK are currently in deadlock. With looming COVID-19 fears, the European nations are also struggling to revive the hard-hit economy. Merkel believes that the EU should additionally work its way through negotiations on $800 billion post-coronavirus euro recovery fund for countries worst hit by the pandemic.
She reportedly said that the fund, however, cannot resolve all of Europe’s problem, but the 27 nation bloc must ‘act quickly’ in the face of the pandemic given the huge hit the virus has dealt jobs and the economy. Further, she added that for Europe to survive, its economy must also survive.