Speaking to reporters at a press conference after crunch talks with other leaders of the European Union, Mrs Merkel said it is clear that “we need substantial progress on Brexit by October”.
During the press conference, the German Chancellor focused her attention on the single market, deeming it a sticking point of the Brexit negotiations, while ignoring the Irish border issue.
Mrs Merkel said: “Well, in the end we have to agree on all questions – at least on all those laid out in the exit agreement and the document on future relations.
“(Brexit) can’t work without approaching each other but there are also some standards and one of them is that you can’t be a part of the single market if you’re not part of it but otherwise we can use a lot of creativity to find practicable and good, close solutions.”
However, Mrs Merkel conceded the EU wants to “continue the talks in a very good atmosphere”.
Mrs Merkel added the Brexit deal must be finalised by November – or the UK will risk leaping out of the bloc without an agreement.
The powerful German Chancellor added: “There is still much work to be done on future relations after Brexit.
“We can find practical solutions but principles of the common market must be respected.”
May also mentioned that EU leaders had a problem over the threat to the single market.
She said today: “If there are concerns abut the proposal we’ve put forward for frictionless goods then let’s understand what those concerns are.
“I understand reference has been made to the integrity single market actually we believe we looked at that we recognise the need and EU’s desire to respect the integrity of the single market and that’s why we’ve put forward a proposal that we believe does exactly that.”
However, Mrs Merkel conceded the negotiators “came a long way” in the last months – but the UK and the EU still “have a lot of work to do on the future relationship.”
The German leader’s comments aped European Union president Donald Tusk who said Mrs May’s Chequers deal was doomed because of the single market.
Mr Tusk explained the framework for economic cooperation outlined in the Chequers agreement “will not work.”
Speaking alongside the president of the European Council, Jean-Claude Juncker, at the end of the tense summit in Salzburg, Mr Tusk said: “The summit taking place in October will be the moment of truth for Brexit.
“We will then decide whether to call for another summit in November to finalise the Brexit deal.”
The need for an emergency Brexit summit in November was brought up earlier today by Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte.
He said: “We are aiming for a result in October but we have to entertain the option that there is so much on the table that we cannot finalise everything in October.”
Mr Rutte joined the chorus of unsatisfied EU leaders over the progress made over Brexit in the last two days.
He said: “I do not feel more confident, but also at the same time not less optimistic.”
Asked about the potential impact of a no-deal Brexit on Dutch airports such as Schiphol, he added: “I think we have made more preparations for a no deal than the UK has.”
During the two-day summit, Mrs May has received the open support of only a handful of leaders, including anti-immigration Hungarian leader Viktor Orban, who suggested earlier today some EU leaders were seeking to “punish” the UK for leaving the bloc.
Mr Rutte insisted the EU27 were united and trying to make “the best out of the thing we all hate, which is Brexit.”
Source : EXPRESS