Government sources said last month that the EU’s approach to trade talks has resulted in “paralysis”. Brexit negotiations have stalled in recent months over two key issues – fisheries and regulatory alignment. Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants to fulfil a Leave campaign promise that the UK will take back control of its waters post-Brexit. Previously, EU vessels had free access to British fishing grounds, leaving many fishermen in the UK aggrieved.
However, the EU’s chief negotiator – Michel Barnier – has warned Mr Johnson he cannot secure access to European markets without allowing EU vessels into UK waters.
The UK is also looking to avoid EU regulations – giving the country more freedom to set its own laws on trading standards.
But even before the British public voted to leave the EU – German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned that the UK wouldn’t get what it wants from Brexit.
The German Chancellor said her country “works well” with the UK in Europe, and warned that the UK’s influence would be diminished if it quit the bloc.
She said Britain staying in the EU would be “for the benefit of all of us”.
She warned voters in the UK that countries outside the Brussels club “never really get a good result in negotiations” – a proclamation that echoed Barack Obama’s claims Britain would be “back of the queue” for a trade deal.
Mrs Merkel said: “Obviously, it is up to the citizens of the UK themselves how they wish to vote on the upcoming referendum. I’ve said repeatedly before that I personally would hope and wish for the UK to stay part and parcel of the EU.
“We work well together with the UK particularly when we talk about new rules for the EU.
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And Labour MP Kate Hoey, who campaigned to leave, said the German leader would be “well-advised to stay out of what is a very, very important vote for British democracy”.
She blasted: “It is in Germany’s interests for the UK to stay in. That doesn’t mean that it is in the UK’s interests.
“I really don’t think that Angela Merkel telling the British people how they should vote in a democratic referendum in three weeks’ time will affect anyone’s vote.
“We can do extremely well outside the European Union – we don’t need to be in the single market, other countries trade with the European Union and are not in the single market. We are the fifth-largest economy, we can look outwards.”