Angela Merkel highlighted the economic danger posed by Britain if she was allowed to become a Singaporean-on-the-Thames when Boris Johnson's envoy to Brexit presented a plan to break the UK's commitment to stay in compliance with EU social and environmental standards.
In discussions with representatives of the European Commission, David Frost, the Prime Minister's negotiator, insisted that the United Kingdom was seeking to "break with" all the bloc's regulations, a political choice of the new British government that alarmed other capitals of the EU. .
While the UK's new vision was presented in Brussels, the German Chancellor, speaking in front of the Bundestag, said she was determined to reach an agreement with Johnson, but that a no -agreement on Brexit could not be ruled out.
Merkel also warned against the economic threat that the UK could pose. As Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Johnson privately declared to European diplomats his desire to build a fuzzy Britain, which was seen as an indication of his plan to make the UK a low-tax state and low regulation.
Merkel's comments indicate that the UK government will have a hard time coming to terms with what the UK calls an "unparalleled" free trade agreement if it does not meet European standards for goods, workers' rights, taxes and the environment.
European sources have said that the United Kingdom will have to buy more expensive and more equitable bonds than Canada, because of the proximity of the United Kingdom and the size of its economy.
Diplomats in Brussels said that the British government would be presented with a "Canada less", possibly with tariffs on certain products, if it wanted to conclude a free trade agreement without respecting all commitments currently set out in the Political Declaration on the Future. relationship with Theresa May.
Merkel told German parliamentarians: "We still have every chance of getting a prescription [Brexit] and the German government will do everything in its power to make this possible – until the last day. But I also say that we are ready for a messy Brexit.
"But the fact remains that after the withdrawal of Britain, we have an economic competitor on our doorstep, even though we want to maintain close cooperation in the areas of the economy, security and safety, as well as friendly relations.
"On the one hand, as Europeans, we are weaker with the exit from Britain – it must be said – but on the other hand, the time has come to develop new forces. "
She added, "No country in the world can solve its problems alone and if we all work against each other, we will not win. I believe in win-win situations if we work together. "
A British government spokesman said: "The United Kingdom is seeking a free trade agreement. The EU has always said that it was available. Any equal opportunity provision should reflect this final state. "
Berlin's intervention came as France's French Minister Amelie de Montchalin accused the UK of breaking the "spirit" of the negotiations by trying to reach "mini-agreements" with various EU member states. EU.
"We see that in bilateral meetings, the British are trying to get along with their respective counterparts to try to organize a" no deal ", she said at a conference of press after meeting the 26 ambassadors of the EU members in France.The British ambassador was ruled out. "And what the British want, is to make sure that the different the relations they have with each EU Member State are recreated before the moment of separation, thanks to these mini-transactions.This is quite contrary to the spirit in which we negotiated. When [Stephen] Barclay [the UK Brexit secretary] or others try in France, we say: "We hear you. Go talk to Michel Barnier to see what can be done at European level. "
De Montchalin said that a "no deal" was now "highly possible". She added that a request for the extension of Brexit by the United Kingdom would not be accepted under "current conditions" and that the EU27 would deal with the British Prime Minister and not parliament.
She said, "We must first receive a formal request. Governments talk to the commission, that's how it works. For example, there is no request for prorogation of parliament. Those who have the legitimacy to represent a country are those who sit at the table of the European Council.
"If – and this is a big one if, apparently, we try to follow what is happening in the UK – but if there is such a demand, we have always said that" time for the time "was not an option. In the event of a change in the political scene – new government, election announcement, we think the landscape of discussions is changing – we will then consider an extension.
"I can not tell you now what could be decided now in such a situation during a night in Brussels in October," added the French minister. "As we have said, in the present circumstances, the answer is no: if nothing changes, we have always said that time alone is not enough. [for another extension]. We can not commit today because we do not have a concrete scenario yet. "