Changement de cœur? France reaches out to UK

PUBLISHED: 11:45 26 July 2018 | UPDATED: 11:45 26 July 2018

French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Theresa May. Photograph: Peter Nicholls/PA.

French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Theresa May. Photograph: Peter Nicholls/PA.

PA Wire/PA Images

Bregrets? We have a few... but now a top French politician has said the UK can come back to the EU - and all will be forgiven.

French Europe minister, Nathalie Loiseau, told Radio 4’s Today programme: “We have always said, always, that the door would remain open and that we were not the ones who wanted to diverge from the United Kingdom. It was the British people who decided to leave the European Union.”

Clarifying her comments, she explained that it would be possible to remain “on the same terms”.

“[Like] every single member state of the European Union, we have one conviction, which is that the best possible status is being a member, the most profitable status.”

Loiseau also discouraged the Article 50 process being extended stating that “it would have a lot of consequences” if the UK was serious about leaving the EU. This included paying the full costs of staying a member of the EU, and participating in the next set of European elections.

The minister also spoke out against a ‘no deal’ Brexit warning that it would lead to a ‘brutal divorce’ on the evening of March 29, 2019.

“On the day of the United Kingdom leaving the European Union with no deal, we should start with new tariffs [and] controls and that means, of course, traffic jams in Calais and in each and every European port welcoming goods and people coming from the United Kingdom.”

In response to her comments the Labour MP David Lammy tweeted: “The government wants you to think Brexit can’t be stopped. France’s Europe Minister Nathalie Loiseau just blew that out of the water.”

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