InDaily

Adelaide's independent news

Support

No-deal Brexit will be on Johnson's head: Macron

News

French President Emmanuel Macron says a no-deal Brexit would be of Britain’s own making and not the EU’s, and any trade pact between the UK and US would not mitigate the cost of such an outcome.

Print article

The French leader said the demands made by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson for a renegotiation of the divorce deal, including the removal of the Irish backstop, were not workable.

Macron spoke to reporters in Paris on Wednesday as German Chancellor Angela Merkel, in Berlin, gave Johnson 30 days to draw up an alternative solution to the backstop.

The backstop is an insurance policy to prevent the return of a hard border between Britain’s province of Northern Ireland and EU member Ireland.

“Can the cost for Britain of a hard Brexit – because Britain will be the main victim – be offset by the United States of America? No. And even if it were a strategic choice it would be at the cost of a historic vassalisation of Britain,” Macron said.

“I don’t think this is what Boris Johnson wants. I don’t think it is what the British people want.”

Earlier on Wednesday, an official in Macron’s office said France now saw a no-deal as the most likely scenario come Britain’s October 31 deadline.

The official said there was not a “cigarette paper” standing between the positions of France, Germany and other EU states.

Macron said the possibility of a no-deal Brexit “would be Britain’s doing, always”.

“The British are attached to being a great power, a member of the Security Council. The point can’t be to exit Europe and say ‘we’ll be stronger’, before in the end, becoming the junior partner of the United States, which are acting more and more hegemonically,” Macron added.

He said he saw no reason to grant a further delay to Brexit unless there was a significant political change in Britain, such as an election or a new referendum.

French officials say if Britain requested an extension in order to hold a new election, the EU would probably grant it.

Sticking to his previous hard line on Brexit, Macron said he would not accept renegotiating the withdrawal agreement agreed between Johnson’s predecessor and the bloc, and dropping the backstop.

“Why won’t we accept it? It’s simple: because what Boris Johnson suggests in his letter to (EU) President (Donald) Tusk is … to choose between the integrity of the single market and respecting the Good Friday agreement.

“We won’t chose between the two. We won’t jeopardise peace in Ireland, that would be one of the consequences of dropping the so-called backstop,” he said.

Ireland says border checks could undermine the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, which brought peace after more than 3600 died in a three-decade conflict between unionists who wanted Northern Ireland to remain British, and Irish nationalists who want Northern Ireland to join a united Ireland ruled from Dublin.

The French leader will be hosting Johnson for lunch on Thursday.

-AAP

Want to comment?

Send us an email, making it clear which story you’re commenting on and including your full name (required for publication) and phone number (only for verification purposes). Please put “Reader views” in the subject.

We’ll publish the best comments in a regular “Reader Views” post. Your comments can be brief, or we can accept up to 350 words, or thereabouts.

InDaily has changed the way we receive comments. Go here for an explanation.

We value local independent journalism. We hope you do too.

InDaily provides valuable, local independent journalism in South Australia. As a news organisation it offers an alternative to The Advertiser, a different voice and a closer look at what is happening in our city and state for free. Any contribution to help fund our work is appreciated. Please click below to become an InDaily supporter.

Powered by PressPatron

More News stories

Loading next article

Subscribe to InDaily – it’s free!

South Australia’s locally owned, independent source of digital news.

Subscribe now and go in the monthly draw* for your chance to WIN a $100 voucher!

Subscribe free here

*Terms and conditions apply

Welcome back!

Did you know it’s FREE to subscribe?

Subscribe now and go in the monthly draw* for your chance to WIN a $100 voucher!

Subscribe

*Terms and conditions apply