"If we make an exception for Great Britain concerning freedom of movement, that will mean a threat to the key principles of the Single Market as everybody will also want to have such exceptions," Merkel said at the German Employer Day 2016.
She pointed out that the European Single Market was based on four principles, namely freedoms of movement of people, goods, services and "finance market products," which are inseparable from each other.
On October 2, UK Prime Minister Theresa May said that the country would trigger Article 50 of the EU Lisbon Treaty by the end of March 2017 to start the official procedures to cease its EU membership.
A number of EU leaders have stated that the United Kingdom will lose its access to the Single Market unless it keeps freedom of movement rules. May, meanwhile, suggested at the Conservative Party conference in early October that the country’s exit from the European Union would be a "hard" rather than "soft" Brexit, meaning that control over immigration would be prioritized over the access to the European Single Market.