Merkel: UK Will ‘Pay A Price’ If It Curbs Immigration

Jacob Bojesson | Foreign Correspondent

German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned the United Kingdom that it will have to “pay a price” if it moves to curb free movement of European workers after Brexit.

Freedom of movement is one of the key issues in negotiations between the European Union and the U.K. ahead of Brexit. Merkel has accused Britain of only wanting to keep the good parts of an EU membership while abandoning the burdens. She now warns the country will suffer consequences if it moves to restrict EU citizens’ right to work in the U.K.

“If the British government ends the free movement of people, that will have its price in relations with Britain,” Merkel said at a meeting with trade officials Wednesday, according to Reuters. “That’s not malicious. But you cannot expect to enjoy all the benefits and then say there will be an upper limit of 100,000 or 200,000 EU citizens, no more, or we’ll only accept researchers, but nobody else. This will not work.”

British Prime Minister Theresa May released the Conservatives’ manifesto Thursday ahead of the general election in June. One of the main points in the manifesto is to “bear down on immigration from outside the EU” across all visa routes. The Conservatives also vow to reduce and control immigration from Europe after Brexit.

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