German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government is battening down the hatches for the coming Brexit talks, instructing officials to avoid any back-door contacts that could hand the U.K. an advantage.
Merkel’s chancellery is receiving U.K. diplomats but politely refusing to grant the U.K. any favors in advance of the official negotiations, according to two people familiar with the matter. Officials at some ministries have been instructed to shun official contacts with U.K. counterparts that could reveal negotiating positions, another person said.
The German message in private is the same as in public: that discussions can’t start until Britain presents its opening gambit after triggering Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, the three people said. All asked not to be identified discussing private government matters.
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