Angela Merkel: Theresa May cannot 'cherry pick' Brexit terms

More than 1,000 CDU delegates applaud and shout as German Chancellor stakes claim for historic fourth term in office

Angela Merkel: Theresa May cannot 'cherry pick' Brexit terms

Angela Merkel has told her own party congress that Britain will not be allowed to “cherry pick” in Brexit negotiations.

The German Chancellor told her Christian Democratic Union meeting on Tuesday that Theresa May's government would have to respect freedom of movement and the single market.

"We will not allow any cherry picking," Ms Merkel said, to cheers from more than 1,000 delegates in the western rust belt city of Essen.

"The four basic freedoms must be safeguarded - freedom of movement for people, goods, services and financial market products. Only then can there be access to the single market."

Angela Merkel calls for burqa ban 'wherever legally possible' in Germany

The UK's Conservative cabinet has seemingly flip-flopped back and forth over its strategy in leaving the European Union.

Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, David Davis, surprised MPs in the House of Commons last week by revealing the Government is potentially willing to pay for single market access.

It once again shone a light on the legitimacy of the Vote Leave claim that £350m in EU money could be spent on the NHS if Britain opted for Brexit.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson reportedly told four EU ambassadors he was privately in favour of freedom of movement - according to a diplomat interviewed by Sky News last week. Mr Johnson has since denied the reports.

This again contradicts what Ms May's ministers have said publicly, and the rhetoric of the leave campaign, which wanted to fundamentally regain control of British borders.

Ms Merkel was speaking at the CDU party congress, where she also said it was a "disgrace" that the international community had proved unable to alleviate suffering in Syria's besieged city of Aleppo.

"It is a disgrace that we have been unable to establish humanitarian corridors, but we must continue to fight for it," said Ms Merkel.

EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier says Brexit deal could be reached by October 2018

The 62-year-old also took a tougher stance on migration after around 890,000 asylum-seekers arrived in the country last year, saying: "A situation like the one in the late summer of 2015 cannot, should not and must not be repeated."

In the most unexpected turn, the stalwart politician called for a ban on the burqa.

The EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michael Barnier sung from the same hymn sheet as Ms Merkel today at a press conference in Brussels.

Mr Barnier said: "The single market and its four freedoms are indivisible, cherry-picking is not an option."

A Supreme Court case over whether MPs will get a Brexit vote began yesterday.

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