Merkel Dashes UK Hopes for Parallel Talks on Brexit, Trade Terms

© AP Photo / Markus SchreiberAngela Merkel
Angela Merkel - Sputnik International
German Chancellor Angela Merkel blatantly rejected on Wednesday UK government’s plans to hold two sets of simultaneous talks with Brussels – on a withdrawal deal and arrangements that would shape their relationship once London is out.

Antonio Tajani acknowledges applauses after being elected European Parliament President at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, in Strasbourg, eastern France, Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017 - Sputnik International
EP President Holds Press Conference After UK Triggers Article 50
MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Earlier in the day, EU Council President Donald Tusk received a formal letter from UK Prime Minister Theresa May, whereby he was notified about UK’s decision to leave the bloc. According to Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty providing the legal basis for a country’s withdrawal from the European Union, the United Kingdom will leave the union two years after the official Brexit launch.

"The exit close links between the UK and the EU, and naturally Germany, that have developed over the past 44 years. Our talks must first clear how we properly disengage, including with regard to membership-related rights and obligations. Only once these issues have been cleared up, we will be able – hopefully soon – to discuss our future relationship," Merkel told reporters.

In the nine months since UK’s decision to leave the European Union, May said more than once her government favored parallel talks on the departure process and agreements that would come afterwards, including a free trade deal that would replace UK’s single market membership.

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