Macron Wants UK to Leave by October to Stop Brexit ‘Polluting’ EU

French President Emmanuel Macron arrives for a speech at the European Parliament on April 17, 2018 in the eastern French city of Strasbourg. - Macron addresses the European Parliament for the first time in a bid to shore up support for his ambitious plans for post-Brexit reforms of the EU. …
FREDERICK FLORIN/AFP/Getty
VICTORIA FRIEDMAN

President Emmanuel Macron of France has said that he wants the UK out of the EU by October 31st to stop Brussels’ agenda being “polluted” by Brexit.

Speaking to Belgian newspaper Le Soir on Wednesday, President Macron appeared to share some of the frustration of Britons that the exit date should have been delayed twice, saying: “In the case of Brexit, you just have to know at some point whether it stops or not.

“If we follow the logic of saying that it scares us and that we are prepared not to respect the British vote, we betray both the British and the interest of the British,” he added, touching upon a rare sentiment of respect amongst the European elite for the vote to Leave.

However, the progressive Europhile also saw in a long delay what he perceives s aa danger to advancement of the European Project. The French president was alone amongst his peers at April’s European Summit to push for a shorter extension of Article 50 whilst others, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, were considering a year.

The result, he said, was a “consensus” between EU leaders of October 31st, “that is to say before the establishment of the new [European] commission, to prevent the next mandate being polluted by this subject we’ve been talking about for three years,” Macron said in comments reported by The Guardian.

Eurocrats and European leaders have expressed fear that a return of a large number eurosceptic MEPs to the European Parliament during this week’s bloc-wide elections could destabilise their plans for further federalisation of the EU, including visions of an EU army, single migration policy, and full monetary union.

At the prospect of the heads of EU governments being asked once again to extend Article 50, President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker has pleaded with MPs for them to stop plotting to oust the prime minister and embrace her withdrawal agreement.

“I am getting fed up because we are [just] waiting for the next extension,” Mr Juncker told American news network CNN, complaining  that “in the British debate is it seems more important to replace the Prime Minister than to find an agreement among themselves.”

“I hope they will agree among themselves, and they will leave [the EU] by the end of October,” the former Prime Minister of Luxembourg added.

When asked what he thought of Britons having a second referendum, he admitted that the UK would likely deliver another vote to leave, saying: “I would like to say yes to a second referendum, but the result might not be any different.”

Mr Juncker is not alone amongst Europeans in believing that British citizens still back leaving the bloc, with President Macron’s own EU election chief Nathalie Loiseau telling broadcaster RTL: “I’m not sure that a new referendum would necessarily have a very different outcome.”

But like her party leader, the French politician said: “England must go forward, the Brexit must take place.”

Mrs May is facing calls to resign after she offered the Remain-dominated British Parliament a chance to vote on having a second referendum on the withdrawal agreement.

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