No trade talks with Britain until Brexit contours clear - Germany

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May arrive for a statement prior to a meeting at the chancellery in Berlin, Germany, November 18, 2016. REUTERS/Michael Sohn/Pool

BERLIN (Reuters) - Negotiations about a future free trade agreement between Britain and the European Union can take place only after the contours of the Brexit divorce talks are clear, a spokesman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Friday.

Steffen Seibert said Merkel had noted the close relationship between Britain and the EU, adding “in the negotiations it must first be clarified how this interconnection is orderly unbundled.”

He told a regular government news conference that Germany would look carefully at the EU’s draft on how the bloc’s remaining 27 members want to negotiate Brexit.

Reporting by Michelle Martin; Writing by Joseph Nasr; Editing by Paul Carrel