The European business community is seeking to retain some of the free trade agreements currently in place with the United Kingdom, but German Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned that this should not be the case in light of the current Brexit climate.
Chancellor Merkel was firm as she made comments to a forum of European business leaders gathered in Berlin for a conference. The opinion by the German and European Union leader was delivered just as clearly as that of British Prime Minister Theresa May, who a few days earlier had hinted at her preference for breaking completely away from the single market that EU member nations currently enjoy.
One of the greatest problems that the UK is facing after the referendum to leave the EU is that many business leaders are concerned that trade will suffer along with the British economy in the post-Brexit era. There are some hopes that some free trade deals could be salvaged for the sake of financial continuity, but Chancellor Merkel has reminded business hopefuls that the EU works under certain fundamental principles, which include freedom of movement.
It is precisely that freedom of movement between EU nations that the people of the UK have voted against. Prime Minister May is preparing to establish new immigration controls to tighten the UK’s borders, and she has also mentioned that the nation will no longer be within the European Court of Justice. Chancellor Merkel correctly believes that the post-Brexit stance by the UK does not conform to EU principles that are essential to the single market trade agreements.
Chancellor Merkel’s words come in the wake of a realization by EU leaders that the UK does not appear to be interested in making some concessions to stay in the single market in a way similar to Norway, which is not a full EU member but is able to trade as one due to its respect of the four basic freedoms, which grant free movement of goods, services, people, and capital.
In the UK, the business atmosphere has started to become divisive as some investment firms in London are making plans to set up shop in European financial centers such as Frankfurt.