Mrs Merkel has said the UK does not want to submit any more to the ECJ, accept all the rule making powers of the single market or be in a joint fishery. It has taken a long time to get to this perception, but better late than never.
Anyone following UK politics would have grasped that the UK voters voted for Brexit to regain our independence. They voted for a pro Brexit Conservative government to confirm their wish to be independent after a difficult period of Parliament trying to oppose the will of the people. The aim was always to take back control of our laws, our borders, our money and our fish. We did not vote to join some EU Association Agreement like Turkey, or to recreate UK membership of the single market from outside the EU with no vote over its laws.
It has long been clear we are becoming a separate country. We are willing to have a Free Trade Agreement if the EU wants one, otherwise we will be happy to extend the tariffs they make us impose on non EU countries to them as well on departure, if that is their preference. The UK government is planning anyway to remove a whole swathe of low and fiddly tariffs for all as we leave.