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French President Macron says 'door always open' for UK to stay in EU

Macron also respected the sovereign decision of UK to leave EU in their referendum a year ago

AFP | PTI  |  Paris 

Emmanuel Macron, France polls
French President-elect Emmanuel Macron. (Photo courtesy: Twitter/@EmmanuelMacron)

French President said on Wednesday that the door was "always open" for Britain to remain in the after Prime Minister said talks would begin next week.

"Of course the door is always open as long as the negotiations on have not finished," Macron said in a press conference.


But he also stressed that he respected the sovereign decision of the British people to leave the in their a year ago, adding that the start of talks was an important milestone.

"We need to be clear and organised and once it (the process) has started we need to be collectively clear that it's more difficult to reverse course," he said at the Elysee Palace.

Macron's comments echoed others by German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble.

"If they wanted to change their decision, of course, they would find open doors, but I think it's not very likely," Schaeuble told Bloomberg Television.

May repeated her plans to stick to her timetable of starting discussions next week despite ongoing negotiations to form a government.

She was also asked if the loss of her in a bungled snap election last week would alter her decision to withdraw Britain from the single market and customs union, a so-called "hard Brexit".

"I think there's a unity of purpose among people in the It's a unity of purpose having voted to leave the that their government gets on with that and makes a success of it," she said.

May said the process would lead to "an arrangement for which will be the interests of the and the remaining 27 members of the "

After the talks, May and Macron also announced a joint action plan to tackle online extremism which aims to increase the pressure on giants and companies to tackle terror propaganda and

It includes exploring the creation of new laws that would impose penalties on companies if they failed to act.

First Published: Wed, June 14 2017. 08:33 IST
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