Britain cannot remain in the European Union single market unless it continues to accept free movement of people, the prime minister of Malta has said.
Joseph Muscat, whose country assumes the EU presidency in January, said EU leaders were not bluffing when it came to the issue of free movement.
“This is really and truly our position and I don’t see it changing,” he said.
Mr Muscat warned a range of other issues would have to be settled once Theresa May triggers Article 50 – marking the start of the formal withdrawal process – before agreement on a new trade relationship. They included the bill the UK would have to pay before leaving, what will happen to the border with Ireland and arrangements on issues like security.