Monday 19 February 2018

What does Emmanuel Macron's victory mean for Brexit?

The French president-elect is said to favour a “hard Brexit”.

By Nilima Marshall

Emmanuel Macron’s success in the French presidential election means he will play a key role in the Brexit process – so it was no surprise Theresa May was quick to congratulate him on his win.

Downing Street stressed that France is one of the UK’s closest allies and the Prime Minister looked forward to working with him “on a wide range of shared priorities”.

Macron has previously warned he will vigorously defend the European Union’s single market and a favours a “hard” Brexit.

Here are some of the occasions where he has spoken about the issue:

His Monocle magazine interview


Macron told March’s edition of Monocle magazine Britain had made a “serious mistake” by voting to quit the bloc.

He added: “Boris Johnson enjoys giving flamboyant speeches but has no strategic vision; the turmoil he created the day after Brexit proves it.

“Nigel Farage and Mr Johnson are responsible for this crime: they sailed the ship into battle and jumped overboard at the moment of crisis.

Theresa May has handled it but what has been happening since then? On the geopolitical level as well as on the financial, realignment and submission to the US. What is going to happen is not ‘taking back control’: it’s servitude.”

His talks with May


Macron spoke of his desire to encourage French expatriates in the UK to return to France after his talks with May.

“I was very happy to see that some academics and researchers in the UK because of Brexit are considering coming to France to work,” he said.

“It will be part of my programme to be attractive for these kinds of people.”

His talks with London Mayor Sadiq Khan


Speaking with Khan, Macron said that the Brexit negotiations must not be used to “punish” the UK, insisting that “my deep wish is to have Great Britain with the European Union in another relationship”.

Meanwhile, Guy Verhofstadt, the European Parliament’s Brexit negotiator who described Macron as “100% pro-European”, said the French president-elect could now “take the lead to make a new deal for Europe happen”.

Press Association

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