Macron Warns May: EU’s Integrity Is More Important Than Ties With Britain
French President says his country wants a “strong, special relationship” with the UK after Brexit, but not at the cost of the bloc unravelling.

French President Emmanuel Macron has rejected Theresa May’s plea for rescuing her Brexit plan, saying the EU’s unity is more important than ties with Brexit Britain.

During the speech in Paris today, Macron said although his country wanted a “strong, special relationship” with Britain after Brexit, this could not be at the cost of the bloc unravelling.

The French president said the “priority” in the negotiations is ensuring the EU’s unity, not a favourable trade deal with the UK.

“France wants to maintain a strong, special relationship with London but not if the cost is the European Union’s unravelling,” Macron told a gathering of French ambassadors at the Elysee Palace.

Read More: Sky Data poll: 78% think the government is doing a bad job on Brexit

The comments are a blow for British Prime Minister’s hopes to rescue her Chequers proposals after the pair’s one-on-one meeting earlier this month in France.

“Brexit is a sovereign choice, which we must respect, but it can’t come at the expense of the European Union’s integrity,” Macron said.

“We will have to build a strategic partnership with the United Kingdom but the priority is rebuilding the EU.” he added, “We need to take new initiatives, build new alliances. France has a new European ambition.”

On Monday, Brexiteer MEP Tim Aker accused the PM of capitulating to EU negotiators, warning that if the May’s soft Brexit plan is accepted, her party would lose at the next General Election and pave the way for Jeremy Corbyn’s party.

“Instead of going in with a strong hand and demanding a good deal for the UK, she went in with a begging bowl accepting whatever the EU was offering.” Aker told Express.co.uk: “At this stage, Theresa May has made such a mess of the negotiations that nothing good could ever come from them.”

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