(Alliance News) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel has cast doubt on whether the UK has a serious interest in reaching an agreement with the EUÂ on an orderly Brexit.
"It would, of course, be in Britain's and all EU member states' interests to achieve an orderly departure," Merkel said in an interview published Saturday by Sueddeutsche Zeitung and other European media. "But that can only happen if it is what both sides want."
"What matters is not our wishes but only the reality before us, in other words first of all what Britain wants," Merkel added.
The chancellor said that if UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government wants to define it's own relationship with the the EUÂ it will have to "live with the consequences", which could be "a less closely interconnected economy."
Merkel said the remaining EUÂ members needed to let go of the idea that it is for us to define what Britain should want. "That is for Britain to define - and we, the EU27, will respond appropriately," she added.
Britain formally left the EUÂ on January 31, after a slim majority voted to leave the EU in a 2016 referendum. There are just six months left to strike a deal before EU rules cease to apply in Britain.
So far the EU and Britain have made little progress in four rounds of negotiations on a comprehensive trade agreement.
Both sides have agreed to step up their timetable of talks in July and introduce "new momentum," according to a rare joint statement issued earlier this month.
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