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Macron Hints at ‘Bespoke, Special’ Brexit Deal for UK

French President Emmanuel Macron hinted that it might be possible for the UK to secure a ‘special’ trade deal upon exiting the EU.

In an interview with the BBC’s Andrew Marr, Macron explained that the deal may be a compromise between full access to the single market and a trade agreement.

However, the French president went on to say that Britain should not expect to “cherry-pick” the elements of EU trade that it liked.

   
  
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    Emmanuel Macron in September 2017.  Credit: Gouvernement français/WikiCommons

Emmanuel Macron in September 2017. Credit: Gouvernement français/WikiCommons

“You cannot, by definition, have full access to the single market if you don’t tick the box[es],” Macron said. “To get full access to the single market you need [to contribute] to the budget and you have to accept [...] the freedoms [...] and the jurisdiction.”

Prompted by Marr, Macron stated that it is important the UK understands it cannot have “its cake and eat it.”

Comments made during the interview were later clarified by the French embassy via Twitter: “The president makes it very clear in his interview that conditions for accessing the single market are strict and non-negotiable.”

The embassy went on: “As an alternative to this full access, he specifically mentions an ambitious trade agreement of the type negotiated with Canada (obviously adapted to the UK, as every bilateral trade agreement is unique) but not a cherry-picking approach whereby the UK would have the advantages of access to the European single market without what is required in return.

The president also recalls in this interview that the negotiations will be managed by a single European negotiator.”

   
  
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    The Macron and May selfie.  Credit: Emmanuel Macron

The Macron and May selfie. Credit: Emmanuel Macron

The interview, broadcast in full on Sunday, 21st January, took place during Macron’s first trip to Britain since becoming president of France.

During his time in the UK, President Macron signed a treaty with Theresa May to speed up the processing of migrants in Calais. He also posed for a selfie with the prime minister after taking part in a summit at the Victoria & Albert Museum.