Germany would rather see Britain leave the EU than allow David Cameron to tear up its rules on free movement of labour, Angela Merkel has said.
The Chancellor warned the Prime Minister that he is reaching a ‘point of no return’ by pushing for reform of the bloc’s sacred free movement system.
The threat has forced Mr Cameron to tone down his ambitions for any deal to curb EU immigration.
Germany would rather see Britain leave the EU than change rules on free movement of labour, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said
The pair clashed at a summit in Brussels last month, German magazine Der Spiegel said. Citing senior officials, it said Mrs Merkel told Mr Cameron he was nearing a ‘point of no return’ with plans to introduce quotas for the number of EU workers who can come to Britain. She threatened to abandon her efforts to keep Britain in the EU unless he backed down.
One government insider was quoted on Radio Bavaria saying: ‘The time for talking is close to over.
‘Mrs Merkel feels she has done all she can to placate the UK, but will not accept immigration curbs from EU member states under any circumstances. It has come to a Mexican stand-off and it is now a question of who blinks first.