Boost for Theresa May as Macron and Barnier hint at special Brexit deal for UK
Emmanuel Macron will use a crunch summit to urge his fellow European leaders to strike a Brexit deal with the UK, it has been reported.
In a boost for Theresa May, the French president will say it is vital that the EU maintains close links with Britain after it leaves the bloc next year.
European leaders will gather in Salzburg next month to discuss the progress which has been made on Brexit.
Sources told The Times that Mr Macron will use the summit to propose new European structures, with EU and Eurozone members at its heart and the UK alongside them.
"He sees a no-deal scenario as something that would break links and poison relations at a time when Europe needs to be united beyond the EU,” a diplomatic source told the paper.
The breakthrough marks a major shift from earlier this week, when the French president suggested that Mrs May's Brexit strategy risked "unravelling" the EU.
Meanwhile, Michel Barnier has said he wants a post-Brexit deal between the UK and EU "such as there never has been".
His comments sent the value of the Pound to a three-week high against the dollar.
Cabinet Office minister David Lidington yesterday said the onlt alternative to the Brexit strategy agreed by the Cabinet at Chequers was no deal at all.
He said: "We face the choice between the pragmatic proposals we are discussing now with the European Commission or no deal
"This is a time when Europe — Europe inside the EU and Europe outside the EU — needs to pull together to embrace the spirit of unity and co-operation that has been the cause of our success for more than half a century. We are indispensable partners in an unpredictable world. Now is the opportunity to cement that partnership and face the future together."