Germany's Merkel renews warning on Britain and immigration

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says that granting Britain full access to the European Union's internal market while allowing it to limit EU immigration would lead to a free-for-all in Europe.

Merkel's comments Thursday to Germany's main industry lobby group marked the second consecutive day that she stressed to businesspeople the importance of upholding the EU's "fundamental freedoms," including free movement of EU citizens.

British Prime Minister Theresa May plans to formally trigger EU exit talks by the end of March, and appears prepared to prioritize immigration controls. Merkel said "they won't be easy negotiations."

She added: "If we don't say that full access to the internal market is linked to full acceptance of the four fundamental freedoms, a process will spread in Europe in which everyone does what they want."