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Germany's Merkel warns Britain anew on EU market access

Associated Press logo Associated Press 9/01/2017

BERLIN — German Chancellor Angela Merkel is warning Britain anew that its access to the European Union's single market would be limited if it restricts the immigration of EU nationals.

British Prime Minister Theresa May has indicated a desire to prioritize immigration curbs in her country's divorce from the EU. May plans to trigger talks on the so-called "Brexit" by April 1.

However, Britain's partners in the 28-nation EU have been firm in saying limiting immigration would be incompatible with maintaining full access to the bloc's single market.

Merkel stressed Monday that the EU wants to preserve good relations with Britain. But she said "that access to the common market is only possible on condition of keeping to the four fundamental freedoms."

She reiterated that there can be no "cherry-picking" in negotiations.

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