France's news in English

Editions:  Europe · Austria · Denmark · France · Germany · Italy · Norway · Spain · Sweden · Switzerland

French president Macron warns of no-deal Brexit 'for sure' if British MPs reject May's deal

Share this article

French president Macron warns of no-deal Brexit 'for sure' if British MPs reject May's deal
Emmanuel Macron at the European Council meeting in Brussels. Photo: AFP
15:28 CET+01:00
French president Emmanuel Macron warned on Thursday that if British MPs reject the Brexit withdrawal agreement once again - the country will leave the European Union without a deal.

"In the case of a negative British vote then we'd be heading to a no deal," Macron said, arriving at the EU summit in Brussels.

"We all know it. And it's essential to be clear in these days and moments."

READ MORE

 

Macron, echoing other EU leaders, said that a short "technical extension" would be possible, but only if British lawmakers who have twice rejected a withdrawal agreement vote next week to back it.

"We do respect the vote of the British people. We do respect what the prime minister and parliament are making," Macron told reporters, repeating himself in English for British broadcasters.

"In case of no vote, or no, directly it will guide everybody to a no deal for sure," he said.

 

(Emmanuel Macron prepares for the EU summit in Brussels. Photo: AFP)

 

His comments came after France's Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian also took a hard line on any Brexit delays.

"A situation in which Mrs May is unable to deliver sufficient guarantees on the credibility of her strategy at the European Council meeting would lead to the request being refused and a preference for a no deal," he told the French parliamet on Wednesday.

Le Drian said an extension to the March 29 deadline would only be granted if British Prime Minister Theresa May agreed to three conditions.

First, that any extension only be given to approve an exit deal negotiated by May and the other 27 European Union members, which has twice been rejected 
by British MPs.

Secondly, that May not seek to renegotiate the deal.

And thirdly that Britain not participate in elections for the European Parliament which are scheduled for May 23rd-26th.

EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier, as he arrived for the meeting, reiterated the message that any extension to the deadline would be conditional on British MPs passing May's deal.

 

 

The European Council was meeting on Thursday after May had formally requested an extension to the Brexit deqdline - which is currently set at March 29th.

In Britain, a petition calling on politicians to cancel Brexit was set to hit 1 million signatures, less than 48 hours after being set up.

By law, once a petition has more than 100,000 signatures, it must be discussed by parliament.

 


 

 

 

Share this article

The Local is not responsible for content posted by users.
susanwilliams - 21 Mar 2019 18:14
I just don't understand what the EU leaders are doing now! Why the hell are they forcing us into this effing deal, when it would surely be in their interest for the UK to have a second referendum and then hopefully cancel Brexit altogether? Why aren't they insisting on that as a condition of agreeing to an extension? I am baffled - and very angry!
Charles - 21 Mar 2019 18:25
I've just about had it with the Tory government and its politicking, when leadership was called for, and games to ensure the survival of their party when it should have been the survival of the country that was paramount.
I can therefore fully understand Macron's exasperated approach, and I'm a Remainer, but someone has to tell the UK government the reality of the mess that they've gotten us all into!
Become a Member or sign-in to leave a comment.

From our sponsors

How to see the very best of Europe this summer

Forget flying! The best way to see Europe is via bus and rail. Oh, and it’s usually cheaper and often faster than taking to the skies. The Local rounds up some top tips for planning your next European adventure.