“There will be no renegotiation,” he told the French National Assembly as British Prime Minister Theresa May fights to sell the deal to the British parliament.
“There were long negotiations lasting several months that ended with a text agreed by both parties, which was to have been submitted yesterday to the British parliament, and which the British prime minister decided to hold back because of lack of support,” Le Drian said.
The key stumbling block is the so-called “backstop” which aims to avoid the return of a “hard border” between the two Irelands, he added.
May is to meet on Thursday in Brussels with leaders of the 27 remaining EU leaders to discuss the deal, “but there will be no renegotiation” of the deal, Le Drian said.
“Observations might be made, and, as you know, the prime minister is in trouble with her own party and faces a confidence vote this evening so we are looking at a complex situation,” he added.
May faces a revolt within her own ranks, sparked by MPs from the anti-EU wing of her Conservative party, her biggest crisis since taking office after the 2016 Brexit referendum.