Adam Berry | Getty Images News | Getty Images
Theresa May, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (L), attends a press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on July 20, 2016 in Berlin, Germany.
“A third state, and that’s what Britain will be, cannot and will not have at its disposal the same rights … as members of the European Union,” Merkel, the EU’s most influential leader, told lawmakers.
“I must say this clearly here because I get the feeling that some people in Britain still have illusions – that would be wasted time,” she said, to loud applause from lawmakers.
Arguing that the Brexit talks would only really get going after Britain’s June 8 parliamentary election, Merkel stressed several times that all 27 remaining EU members agreed that the divorce settlement must be sorted out first.
“We can only do an agreement on the future relationship with Britain when all questions about its exit have been cleared up satisfactorily,” she said.