Emmanuel Macron ‘NOT echoing de Gaulle as under wartime hero UK and EU would have deal’ | World | News

French President Emmanuel Macron’s Europe adviser recently argued the EU cannot be “weak” in the upcoming tussle over access to Britain’s fishing grounds and regulatory alignment. Clement Beaune insisted Paris would not rubber-stamp a trade agreement unless the UK respects its hardline demands. Mr Beaune said: “Regarding Brexit, we could accept out of convenience an agreement that is too fast and too weak. It is in our interest and the economic interest of many sectors in France, but we can’t be weak.

“We can’t accept access to our market if they don’t respect our rules in terms of competition, environment and health. We can’t talk about sovereignty and independence if we don’t pass the test of sovereignty and independence that Brexit represents.”

European capitals fear the chances of a no deal Brexit have dramatically increased because very little progress has been made since June.

Mr Beaune’s comments are no surprise, though, as ever since Britain left the EU, the French President has adopted an intransigent attitude towards the UK.

For example, in April 2018, Mr Macron was the only EU leader who refused former Prime Minister Theresa May a much longer Brexit extension.

According to many political analysts, he might be following in the steps of his predecessor, former French President Charles de Gaulle.

General de Gaulle famously kept the UK out by vetoing its entry on two occasions.

The European Economic Community (EEC) – the precursor to the EU – was formed as the 1957 Treaty of Rome after World War 2. Two years later, de Gaulle was elected President of France and, although not instrumental in the EEC’s formation, he went on to become a key figure in the history of the organisation.

It was his stance on Britain’s proposed membership, though, that can be seen as resoundingly prophetic to today’s Brexiteers.

Britain initially declined to join the Common Market but, by the late Fifties and early Sixties, living standards in France and Germany began to exceed those in the UK so then-Prime Minister Harold Macmillan began negotiations to join.

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“He didn’t want the UK in the Common Market simply because he feared that it would mean the entry of the US, too.

“De Gaulle understandably wanted to defend French interests.

“During these Brexit negotiations, Macron is not defending the French interests, at all.

“We would already have a fair deal with the UK, otherwise.”

Britain and the EU have less than five weeks to agree a deal before Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s October 15 deadline – after which he says he is prepared to “walk away”.

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