Emmanuel Macron has launched an extraordinary attack on prominent Brexiteers, branding those in charge of the Leave campaign ‘liars’.
The French president hit out at the likes of Farage, Johnson, and Rees-Mogg in a press conference at the end of the Salzburg summit of European leaders.
He described Brexit as a ‘a choice pushed by certain people who predicted easy solutions’ and claimed that ‘those who said you can easily do without Europe, that it will all go very well, that it is easy and there will be lots of money, are liars.’
While progress was being made in negotiations, he pointed out that it was ‘not as simple as suggested by those who promised the British people the Earth at the time of the referendum’.
Macron added that it was true that Brexit negotiations had been complex and lengthy, but said: ‘That fact must not be exploited by those very people who are the cause of this problem, who got us into the Brexit situation and who now tell us that Europe is going from crisis to crisis.
‘Brexit shows that it is not easy to leave the EU,’ he said, adding: ‘It is not without costs. It is not without consequences.’
Earlier EU leaders called the prime minister’s bluff by slamming her post-Brexit plan for trade and refusing to rule out a no-deal scenario.
When asked whether a bad deal was better than no deal Macron declined to say, but said he would ‘never accept a deal which will damage Europe.’
He added: ‘I respect the sovereignty of the British people, but I respect the sovereignty of the 27 other members. And they decided to join the European Union with its rules.
‘I’m here precisely to protect the interests of my citizens, but more broadly of this common project. So there is no blind deal – this is my answer.’