MOSCOW (Sputnik) — German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said London should not have an illusion it could get anything for nothing from the European Union during Brexit talks, in an interview out Saturday.
"The UK will not have advantages other countries don’t have after it leaves [the EU]," Schaeuble told the Funke media group, adding in English "There is no free lunch."
He argued it was not EU’s goal to weaken the United Kingdom. "But we don’t want Europe to be weakened either," the minister added.
28 April 2017, 17:31 GMT
German Chancellor Angela Merkel outlined her tough negotiating position on Brexit this week when she said a third country – which the United Kingdom is expected to become in March 2019 – should not expect the same rights as EU countries.
Leaders of the remaining EU nations will meet this Saturday for the first time as the formal European Council of 27 to adopt guidelines for the upcoming Brexit talks, a month after the United Kingdom triggered the process of withdrawal.