French President Emmanuel Macron has vowed to urge the European Union (EU) to strike a Brexit deal and form a close relationship with the UK, days after rejecting Theresa May’s ‘Chequers’ plan.
The staunchly pro-EU leader, who has called for the bloc to expand with an army and common budget, will claim a clean, ‘no-deal’ Brexit will “break links and poison relations” between member states.
In Mr Macron’s vision for the bloc, there will be “concentric circles” with eurozone nations in the inner ring and Britain close by in a second, sources told The Times.
A diplomatic source told the newspaper: “He sees a no-deal scenario as something that would break links and poison relations at a time when Europe needs to be united beyond the EU.”
— French Embassy UK (@FranceintheUK) August 30, 2018
The claims come after the bloc’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, said he wanted ties with the UK to be “as close as possible” and promised a “partnership with Britain such as has never been with any other third country”.
Mr Barnier has previously insisted the UK would not get a tailor-made, unique deal, and his claims sent the value of the pound up.
There is nothing new in what Macron and Barnier have said – EU has always wanted to do a deal but won’t accept British cherrypicking and false solutions to Irish border. https://t.co/ENo61yxLU0
— George Eaton (@georgeeaton) August 29, 2018
However, neither men gave much detail on how their stances have changed or if they are proposing a more generous offer to the UK.
Mr Barnier’s words came with the usual warnings that the UK cannot pick and choose bits of the bloc’s Single Market.
He said preparation for a “no deal” must be made and appeared to mock Mrs May’s “Brexit means Brexit” rhetoric, saying: “Single Market means Single Market… There is no Single Market a la carte.”
Meanwhile, President Macron appeared to reject Mrs May’s ‘Chequers’ plan for a “soft Brexit” just a couple of days ago, ruling out any compromises that risk the EU “unravelling”.
Mrs May wants frictionless trade to continue outside the Single Market, but Mr Macron vowed Tuesday to protect the bloc’s “integrity” at all costs.
Appeaser Theresa to Beg France’s Macron to Accept Soft Brexit Plan https://t.co/bh1nmKSqAm
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 1, 2018