Macron will be tough in Brexit talks, but won’t seek to punish UK — Aide

France President, Emmanuel Macron

France’s President-elect Emmanuel Macron will be tough in negotiations over the terms of Britain’s departure from the European Union but will not seek to punish Britain, his economic adviser said on Monday.

Jean Pisani-Ferry said no-one had an interest in a hard Brexit that totally severs ties between Britain and the rest of the European Union once it leaves, saying there was a mutual interest in maintaining economic and security ties.

“At the same time, we have divergent interests on some aspects of the negotiations. So there will be a tough negotiation and he will be tough,” Pisani-Ferry told BBC Radio, adding that Macron would not seek retribution against Britain for leaving the EU even as he looked to strengthen the bloc.

“Punish? Certainly not. But he believes that today that Europe is part of the solution to the problems we’re facing.”

Prime Minister Theresa May triggered Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which allows a nation to leave the EU after up to two years of negotiations, on March 29.

In mid-April, she announced plans for a general election, asking voters to back her leadership and her Brexit plan, which involves withdrawing Britain from the EU single market.(Reuters/NAN)


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