Brexit is a lesson to us all: Macron

Brexit is a lesson to us all: Macron
Photo: AFP
French President Emmanuel Macron has said Britain's bungled departure from Europe is an example of what can go wrong when a country decides to leave the EU without a proper plan.

Macron offered a few more choice words on Brexit on Friday at a press conference following the EU summit in Brussels.

He said it was up to the UK to come up with a solution to the Brexit stalemate.

“Brexit to me is not a technical negotiation, at this stage it is a political lesson to us all. A proposed rejection of the EU with no plan can only ever lead to stalemate,” he said.

“This is something we should all realise. Especially now.”

He also fired a warning to the UK.

“Should the UK parliament reject the deal next week, despite our flexibility, then we will have to prepare for a no-deal Brexit.

Macron has frequently laid out his thinking on Brexit in brutal terms, once calling the campaigners for Britain's exit “liars” and most recently “anger-mongers, backed by fake news.” 

These strident statements can be explained in part by domestic political calculations, but also by his vision for the EU's future.

On Friday he again argued that the British people were sold a lie by politicians saying the vote to leave was made “on the basis of fake news”.

He also warned that once the UK leaves “they will see the difference between what they were promised by Brexiteers and the reality.”

The centrist came to power promising to deepen the European project by encouraging member states to go further in linking their economies, political systems and armed forces — the exact opposite of Brexit.

And France's eurosceptics, led by far-right leader Marine Le Pen, are his biggest political opponents ahead of elections for the European Parliament at the end of May.

“France's position is to dissuade any other country from trying to leave the Union,” said Jean-Marc Huissoud, a professor in international relations at the Grenoble School of Management in France.

Macron's vision of deeper European integration has also been a collateral victim of the protracted Brexit negotiations, which have diverted away energy and attention.

“He wants to end the uncertainty as quickly as possible, like everybody else in the EU,” Heisbourg said.

“By ending the uncertainty you create more time to do other stuff.”

Member comments

Become a Member to leave a comment.Or login here.