More than half of the public in Germany think that the UK should be awarded no comprises over its withdrawal from the European Union (EU), according to the Korber Foundation.
And supporters of Mrs Merkel’s Christian Democrat Union (CDU) party want a hardline approach – with 64 per cent supporting it.
This is far more than the Eurosceptic Alternativ fur Deutschland party, with 44 per cent of supporters backing the stance of a harsh Brexit.
The revelation comes just hours after Merkel – the most powerful woman in Europe – blocked a request by Theresa May to guarantee the rights of EU citizens before Brexit negotiations begin.
The poll has revealed that just five per cent of the country’s citizens now see Britain as their most important foreign policy ally, compared with 60 per cent in France.
The survey found that support for the EU to take a tough line with the UK was strongest, at 64 per cent, in the former West Germany.
It also found that more than two thirds of Germans believed the vote for Brexit had reduced EU cohesion among the other countries left in the crumbling bloc.
However, the Bavarian economy minister, Ilse Aigner has warned that Brexit could pose a higher risk to her country’s economy than expected because the UK is one of the “most important trading partners for Bavaria”.
Mrs Merkel has said that she is confident that the European Union will stick together in Brexit talks.
She said: “The EU 27 are untied that it is in our interest to negotiate together.
“I told the British Prime Minister very clearly during our talks that first Article 50, then common guidelines from the European Council, and then the negotiations, and I have no reason to doubt that this agreed strategy will be followed.”