Macron to Johnson: UK’s Destiny Is Up to You; Says It’s Too Late to Rewrite Brexit Deal Before Oct. 31 Deadline

  • At their meeting on Thursday, French President Emmanuel Macron told Prime Minister Boris Johnson that there’s not enough time before the Oct. 31 deadline to completely rewrite the Brexit divorce deal.
  • Johnson and Macron met in France “at the Elysee Palace a day after talks in Berlin with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who challenged Britain to come up with acceptable alternatives to the agreed safety net provision for the UK-Irish land border.”
  • Although UK citizens voted more than three years ago to leave the European Union, “it is still unclear on what terms – or indeed whether – the bloc’s second largest economy will leave the club it joined in 1973.”
  • However, “Macron left the door open to Britain seeking a solution to the Irish backstop, but said any alternative must respect both the integrity of the EU single market and stability on the divided island of Ireland.”
  • Macron said: “I want to be very clear. In the month ahead, we will not find a new withdrawal agreement that deviates far from the original.”
  • Despite Macron telling Johnson what he didn’t want to hear, a French official described the talks over lunch between the two leaders as “constructive.”
  • Since becoming prime minister last month, “Johnson has warned Merkel and Macron that they face a potentially disorderly no-deal Brexit on Oct. 31 unless the EU does a new deal.”
  • Merkel clarified her previous statement and “said she had not meant to set a deadline when saying on Wednesday that a solution to the Irish border issue could be found within 30 days, but to highlight the urgency.”
  • During their meeting, Johnson told Macron that he was “powerfully encouraged by what he had heard from Merkel on Wednesday.”
  • Johnson said: “Let’s get Brexit done, let’s get it done sensibly and pragmatically and in the interests of both sides and let’s not wait until October 31. Let’s get on now in deepening and intensifying the friendship and partnership between us.”
  • However, Macron insisted that the future of Britain is up to Johnson and “said the EU did not want a ‘no-deal’ scenario, but would be ready if it happened.”

Reference Links

  • Reuters: Too late for new Brexit deal, France’s Macron tells Johnson READ
  • The Guardian: Emmanuel Macron tells Boris Johnson any new Brexit deal would have to be very similar to existing one – live READ
  • Politico Europe: Macron to Johnson: ‘Different’ Brexit agreement not possible in 30 days READ
  • Forbes: Trump’s Disapproval Rating Is Dire—But These 5 Presidents Had It Worse READ

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