Merkel warns against British illusions in Brexit talks

German Chancellor Angela Merkel after her speech at the lower house of parliament Bundestag in Berlin, Germany, April 27, 2017. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

BERLIN (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned Britons on Thursday not to delude themselves that they could negotiate an agreement on their future relationship with the European Union before they have nailed down a deal to leave the bloc.

“We can only do an agreement on the future relationship with Britain when all questions about its exit have been cleared up satisfactorily,” she told the Bundestag Lower House of parliament before an EU summit on Brexit.

“A third state, and that’s what Britain will be, cannot and will not have at its disposal the same rights ... as members of the European Union,” she said.

“I must say this clearly here because I get the feeling that some people in Britain still have illusions - that would be wasted time,” she said, to loud clapping from lawmakers.

Reporting by Madeline Chambers and Paul Carrel