Britain's May, France's Macron shore up defense commitment

Posted January 22, 2018

In an interview with BBC One's Andrew Marr show to be broadcast tomorrow, but conducted during his visit to the United Kingdom earlier this week, he was asked whether a bespoke special solution for Britain was possible.

France would "probably" have voted to leave the European Union if it had held an in/out referendum, according to the country's leader.

The French President suggested there is "always a risk" with votes such as Britain's 2016 referendum, when asking the public "just "yes" or "no" in a very complicated context".

French President Emmanuel Macron told the BBC in an interview broadcast Sunday Jan. 21, 2018, he shared the outrage of many African countries in response to President Donald Trump's disparaging comments about the continent. Probably in a similar context.

When asked about his opinion on Trump's tweets, Macron replied that people shouldn't "overplay the situation", saying the tweets are a "mix between personal and political reaction".

His comments echo those he made during a meeting Thursday in which he and Mrs May pledged closer cooperation on defense and border security after Britain leaves the European Union in March 2019.

Also appearing on the show, Labour's shadow chancellor John McDonnell claimed he agreed with Mr Macron's assessment that Brexit was due to a sense that "neoliberalism has alienated people".

The French President said Britain will not be able to "cherry pick" its desired elements of the single market but will be able to sign a bespoke deal if the country abides by Brussels' rules and regulations.

"For sure you will have your own solution" but "this special way should be consistent with the preservation of the single market and our collective interests".

The Prime Minister has repeatedly outlined her wish for a post-Brexit trade deal including both goods and services.

In the BBC interview, Macron went on to say that he has a "very strong" relationship with Trump, noting that the billionaire US leader isn't a "classical politician".

Macron, who was elected in May previous year, said the two leaders had "built a very strong relationship".