German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned Friday that Britain would be an economic “competitor at our door” after it leaves the European Union.
Merkel was speaking after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson won a resounding election victory promising to get Brexit done without further delay.
The EU is worried about the tight timetable to strike a trade deal and officials have stressed they will insist that Britain respect European norms to win the agreement.
“There will be a competitor at our door… that may also encourage us to be quicker in our decisions,” the German leader said.
Some Brexit supporters want Johnson to make Britain a low-tax, low-regulation “Singapore on Thames” after leaving the bloc, leading to fears in Brussels of a race to the bottom on labour, environmental and other standards.