(Reuters) – French presidential candidate Nicolas Sarkozy said on Tuesday he would offer Britain a chance to reverse its Brexit vote by negotiating a new treaty for the European Union with Germany, if he wins presidency in 2017, the Financial Times reported.
Sarkozy said the new treaty would focus on reforming the Schengen passport-free zone, restricting the European Commission’s prerogatives to a dozen, integrating the eurozone further and halting membership talks with Turkey, according to FT.
Sarkozy said if he is elected he would fly to Britain with a draft of new EU treaty the day after the second ballot of the presidential election to secure the support of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
“I would tell the British, you’ve gone out, but we have a new treaty on the table so you have an opportunity to vote again,” the former French president said to business leaders in Paris.
“But this time not on the old Europe, on the new Europe. Do you want to stay? If yes, so much the better. Because I can’t accept to lose Europe’s second-largest economy while we are negotiating with Turkey over its EU membership. And if it’s no, then it’s a real no. You’re in or you’re out.”
Britain voted to leave the EU on June 23 and new Prime Minister Theresa May has so far repeated that the formal divorce notification will not be sent before the end of the year. Some aides have suggested her plan is to invoke Article 50 early in 2017.
After the shock referendum, Sarkozy, member of France’s conservative Les Republicains party, had said that he wants a new EU treaty and the suspension of Turkey’s EU accession negotiations.
Sarkozy announced his candidacy for the April 2017 French presidential election in August, hoping to return as France’s head of state after being unseated in 2012 by the now deeply unpopular Francois Hollande.