French minister echoes Theresa May over Brexit with ‘no deal better than a bad deal’ warning

PUBLISHED: 12:15 29 July 2020 | UPDATED: 12:15 29 July 2020

France's European affairs minister Clement Beaune. Photograph: European Commission.

France's European affairs minister Clement Beaune. Photograph: European Commission.

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A French minister has echoed Theresa May in warning that no deal is better than a bad deal for protecting European interests.

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The country’s European affairs minister Clement Beaune said it will continue to take a tough line on Brexit talks, saying that the EU would not accept a deal “at any price”.

The new minister has been described as Emmanuel Macron’s “Brexit whisperer”, with reports suggesting the French president is keen to use Britain’s departure an opportunity to make Europe stronger.

Beaune said that he believed a prospect of a deal with the UK is still possible, and said that a deal was the best outcome, but he warned they would take a tough stance on issues such as the fisheries - which remains a sticking point for a deal.

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“We will not accept a deal at any price,” he told France Inter radio.

“Better no deal at all than a bad deal,” he added.

Beaune, however, accepted that a no-deal situation would not be good for the EU, but that the interests of the union and his own country was important.

“Let’s not kid ourselves, if there is no deal, it will be a difficult issue, We’ll have to organise a response for sectors like fisheries. Support our fishermen financially. We’re not there yet.”

He added representatives of the EU would not be “intimidated” by the “game” that British negotiators were playing.

During Theresa May’s tenure as leader she regularly warned the EU that a “no deal” situation is “better than a bad deal”.

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