Business Insider - France won't save Theresa May from a no-deal Brexit, warns Macron ally

  • Key Macron ally tells Business Insider that France will not compromise in Brexit talks.
  • The secretary of the French parliament's Brexit mission, Alexandre Holroyd, says France's commitment to the single market overrides concern about Britain crashing out without a deal.
  • "We are not going to bargain 70 years of [European] integration on that deal."
  • His comments come as the French Europe Minister dismisses reports that France will budge in order to save Theresa May's Brexit plans.
LONDON — The French government will oppose a Brexit deal which in "any way, shape, or form" compromises the integrity of the European single market, the secretary of the French parliament's Brexit mission has told Business Insider, dismissing reports that France is ready to compromise in order to prevent Britain from crashing out of the EU.

Reports in recent weeks have suggested that France was moving towards supporting Theresa May's proposed 'Chequers' Brexit plan, which would allow Britain to remain in a single market for goods with the EU after Brexit.

However, Alexandre Holroyd, the French MP for Northern Europe who travelled to Denmark and Finland with President Macron last week, told BI that while France was "committed" to finding a deal, "we are not going to bargain 70 years of [European] integration on that deal."

He described the Theresa May's Chequers proposals — which would keep the UK closely aligned with EU rules for goods after Brexit, but retain the freedom to diverge on services — as "a step in the right direction."

But he said that while there is concern over the prospect of a no-deal Brexit in Paris, there is still no appetite to compromise the security of the single market to secure a deal.

"If you measure the concern on one side of the channel versus another, it's very clear where that concern is highest," he said.

"[But] that concern will not override considerations about protecting a project which we've been building for 70 years together.

"We need to find a practically functionable system which ensures from [France's] perspective that the long-term prospects of the single market aren't jeopardised."


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