Balance of Power: Brexit Plotting

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Angela Merkel and Europe's other leaders are getting ready to show Theresa May what a united front looks like.

Their goal: to force Britain to accept a Brexit deal so tough that no country will ever again dream of leaving the European Union.

European chiefs meet in Brussels tomorrow to agree on their negotiating positions before months of what are sure to be gruelling talks. Drafts obtained by Bloomberg show the EU will demand that Britain pay an exit bill, which officials say could total €60 billion ($65 billion). And they will rule out the comprehensive trade deal that May is looking for unless she agrees to continued oversight of banks by EU regulators and courts.

Merkel set the tone with a hard-line speech to the German parliament yesterday and a poll today showed that only 14 percent of her voters want to make concessions to Britain. 

For May, the problem is that European leaders seem more united than ever before as they try to safeguard the future of their post-war political project.

Balance of Power: Brexit Plotting
Theresa May, U.K. prime minister, left, listens as Angela Merkel, Germany's chancellor, speaks during a news conference at the Chancellery in Berlin on July 20, 2016. Photographer: Jasper Juinen/Bloomberg

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Balance of Power: Brexit Plotting

To contact the authors of this story: John Fraher in London at, Simon Kennedy in London at