Boris’ threat sparks EU panic as Macron turns desperate with plea to UK – ‘You need us!’
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Boris Johnson rattled the EU member-states on Friday afternoon after tearing up the Brexit talks with Brussels. He cancelled negotiations planned for Monday and warned it was time to “get ready” to leave without a deal. In response, French President Emmanuel Macron used his EU summit press conference to launch a desperate bid to change Mr Johnson’s mind.
He told reporters: “Whatever the British people were told in the referendum, they need Europe’s internal market.
“They are much more reliant on us than we are on them. It’s the United Kingdom that wanted to leave the European Union and which needs a deal more than we do.
“Yet today the British proposal is access to the European market without respecting the rules.
“It’s not the job of the remaining 27 EU member states who chose to remain to make the British PM happy.”
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He later repeated this message on his official Twitter account, saying: “In view of Brexit, the British need a deal more than the European Union.
“The Europeans are ready to continue negotiations. Our conditions are clear and known. It is now up to the UK to choose whether or not it wants a deal.”
Earlier in the day, Mr Macron had signalled a softening stance on fisheries, claiming that French fishermen know they won’t get the same access to British fishing waters after Brexit.
He said: “Will the situation be the same as today’s? No, that’s for sure. Our fishermen know it, we know it too. We’ll have to help them. But can we accept a Brexit that sacrifices our fishermen? No.”
Mr Johnson stunned EU officials yesterday by releasing a video effectively ending the Brexit negotiations – in the midst of a crunch EU summit.
He threatened that “unless there is a fundamental change of approach” from the EU, Britain would opt for an Australia-style solution.
Mr Johnson explained: “As far as I can see there, they’ve abandoned the idea of a free trade deal, there doesn’t seem to be any progress coming from Brussels.
“I have concluded that we should get ready for January 1 with arrangements that are more like Australia’s based on simple principles of global free trade.”
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Leaders like Angela Merkel and Ursula von der Leyen still insisted the negotiations would go ahead next Monday.
However, this quickly blew up in their face when Michel Barnier was told to stay home next week.
The UK’s chief Brexit negotiator David Frost told his European counterpart not to come to London on Monday to resolve stalled talks.
A spokesperson for the prime minister later said official talks were “over” and there was “no point” to discussions scheduled to take place next week actually going ahead.
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