Macron: ‘Brexit? I’d love to welcome you back’

PUBLISHED: 09:52 21 January 2018 | UPDATED: 10:54 21 January 2018

French President Emmanuel Macron

French President Emmanuel Macron

PA Wire/PA Images

French President Emmanuel Macron believes the UK will get a bespoke deal – but hopes Brexit can be reversed.

Macron said he would “love” to welcome the UK back into the European Union and insisted the group of member states will become 27 “unhappily”.

Mr Macron said on Thursday that France would not give in to British demands for the financial services sector to be covered by a Brexit trade deal after talks with Theresa May.

In an interview The Andrew Marr Show, he said there is “a competition between different countries” to attract financial services companies in the future and that France wanted “to attract the maximum activity”.

Asked if it was inevitable that Britain would leave, he replied: “I mean, it’s on your own. It depends on you. I mean, I do respect this vote, I do regret this vote, and I would love to welcome you again.”

Macron said full access for financial services to the single market “is not feasible”.

Pressed on whether there would be a bespoke special solution for Britain, he said: “Sure, but... this special way should be consistent with the preservation of the single market and our collective interests.

“And you should understand that you cannot, by definition, have the full access to the single market if you don’t tick the box.”

He added: “So it’s something perhaps between this full access and a trade agreement.”

Macron blamed the Brexit vote on those who had lost out due to globalisation and said “your governments have to take some of the blame”.

Speaking to Andrew Marr after the Macron interview Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell said: “I think there is a deal to be had. I understand why President Macron has been fairly hard-nosed about it at this stage.

“But in the negotiations, I think we will see a softening because there will be an increasing recognition of the joint benefits that we get from passporting.

“It would not be the same single market, but would be access to a single market.”

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