Macron reminds UK it can stop Brexit
French President Emmanuel Macron has insisted Article 50 can still be revoked “up to the last second”, as he warned the UK’s new prime minister, Boris Johnson, that a no-deal Brexit would be his fault.
Macron said Johnson’s demands to reopen the withdrawal agreement were “not an option”.
He said the UK would be the “main victim” of a “clean” Brexit, as the British far-right is now trying to call it.
Johnson’s premiership is only in an acting capacity as it is far from clear whether he controls a parliamentary majority, with an increasing number of Tories stating a willingness to rebel.
Macron said the cost would not be balanced by any US trade deal, which Congress has said it will veto if the 1998 Good Friday Agreement over the border in Ireland is affected.
Johnson argues that the proposed Irish backstop could leave the UK tied to the EU indefinitely, which would be contrary to the result of the 2016 referendum, in which 51.9 per cent of voters opted to leave the bloc.
“Even if it were a strategic choice, it would be at the cost of a historic vassalisation of the British state,” Macron said. “I don’t think that is what Boris Johnson wants.
“It will be the responsibility of the British government, always.
“Firstly, it was the British people that decided Brexit, and the British government has the possibility up to the last second to revoke Article 50.”
Johnson is due to make his visit to Paris as prime minister for a working lunch to discuss the Brexit crisis.
During Wednesday’s meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Johnson was told that London must find a solution to the Irish border.
Johnson told Merkel that the Irish backstop would have to be removed as part of further discussions or he was prepared to leave without a deal.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has invited other party leaders at Westminster to discuss averting a no-deal Brexit.
The leftist wrote in a letter: “The country is heading into a constitutional and political storm, so it is vital that we meet urgently, before parliament returns.
“The chaos and dislocation of Boris Johnson’s no-deal Brexit is real and threatening, as the government’s leaked Operation Yellowhammer dossier makes crystal clear. That’s why we must do everything we can to stop it.”
The secret files exposed dangerous holes in the government’s ability to cope with what is imagined to be involved in a no-deal Brexit.
The Brexit crisis seems to be heading for a climax. Picture credit: Eurasia Times