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French president Emmanuel Macron warns that UK can't keep full access to EU

"As soon as you decide not to join these preconditions, it's not a full access," Macron told the BBC

AP | PTI  |  London 

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

French Emmanuel has suggested that Britain is likely to negotiate a unique relationship with the before it leaves the bloc next year, while stressing that any agreement must be consistent with EU rules.

In remarks released today, told the BBC's television programme that Britain cannot maintain its full access to the EU's single market if it doesn't accept the bloc's founding principles, including the free movement of people and the jurisdiction of EU courts.

"This special way should be consistent with the preservation of the single market and our collective interests," he said. "And you should understand that you cannot, by definition, have the full access to the single market if you don't tick the box."

That means Britain must continue to contribute to the EU budget and accept the four freedoms guaranteed by the bloc "free movement of people, goods, services and capital" if it wants to maintain full access to the single market, said. The full interview will be broadcast tomorrow.

The comments undermine the position of some supporters who want to regain control of the UK's borders and shun the oversight of European courts while retaining access to the single market.

It will also dash the hopes of some in Britain who thought Macron might be more flexible than German in negotiating a deal.

Macron's influence within the EU is on the rise as Merkel's position weakens following an election in September that eroded her power base. Merkel has still not been able to cobble together a coalition government even after months of talks with other political parties.

Macron's comments echo those he made during a meeting Thursday in which he and British pledged closer cooperation on defense and border security after Britain leaves the EU in March 2019.

Macron said the UK's financial services industry can't keep its coveted access to the EU market unless the country continues playing by EU rules.

"As soon as you decide not to join these preconditions, it's not a full access," Macron told the

"What's important is not to make people think, or believe, that it's possible to have" your cake and eat it, he said, accepting Marr's suggestion for the last five words.

First Published: Sat, January 20 2018. 18:50 IST
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