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Brexit deal is 'good news for French economy'

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Brexit deal is 'good news for French economy'
Photo: AFP
10:45 CET+01:00
A proposed Brexit withdrawal agreement is "good news for the French economy", but Paris must keep an eye on its implementation, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said Thursday.

The fact that an agreement has been found "is good news for the French economy, good news for all French firms. It's in everyone's interest that Brexit should go ahead smoothly", he told France 2 TV.

"It should allow both us Europeans and Britain to find a way out which is in everybody's interest," he added.
 
But echoing comments made Wednesday by government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux, Le Maire also warned that France should be "cautious" ahead of full  agreement on the Brexit deal and "guard French and European interests".
 
"If Britain remains in the customs' union, we must be sure that Britain respects all European rules", including "fiscal rules and environmental norms", he said.
 
The deal "must not weaken our common market", he added.
 
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The near 600-page draft, negotiated with Brussels, covers citizens' rights, concerns over Northern Ireland, and plans for a post-Brexit transition period during which both sides hope to agree a new trade deal.

On Wednesday, Griveaux described news of the deal as "encouraging", adding that France should nevertheless remain "very careful" about its detailed implementation.
 
British Prime Minister Theresa May will on Thursday begin trying to sell her Brexit deal to parliament, boosted by news that Europe is preparing a rapid summit to sign off on the agreement.
 
Two ministers, including Brexit minister Dominic Raab, have resigned in protest against the agreement.

French authorities had feared the possibility of a no-deal Brexit and parliament is in the process of passing a bill that allows the government to take emergency measures to limit chaos if Britain does end up crashing out of the EU without a deal - which is still a possibility.

Officials in northern France had become particularly concerned that a no-deal would lead standstill on roads around ports due to the necessary customs checks on trucks.

'More holes than cheese': A recap of what Theresa May's Brexit deal means for Brits in EuropePhoto: Depositphotos

They cannot make extensive contingency plans until the outcome of the negotiations on Brexit and the future trade relationship between the UK and the EU is finalized.

“We're not going to spend hundreds of millions on new infrastructure if negotiations turn out okay,” Jean-Paul Mulot, Hauts-de-France's permanent representative to the UK, told The Local.

France's Economy Minister Le Maire has insisted in the past that they are not trying to take advantage of Brexit to boost the French economy at the expense of Britain's.

"We don't have a predatory vision when it comes to Brexit," Le Maire told The Local and other members of the Anglo American Press Association in Paris earlier this year.

"It's not about taking jobs from the UK, it's about (making France) more attractive - all in the framework of fair competition," he said.

"I repeat: we don't have a predatory vision, it's not about making London lose out so Paris can gain. It's just about making Paris more attractive," he said.

 
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