Emmanuel Macron says UK will quit EU with no deal if MPs reject Theresa May plan next week

Posted On: 
21st March 2019

Britain will crash out of the EU without a deal next week if MPs reject the Brexit deal secured by Theresa May a third time, Emmanuel Macron has warned.

French president Emmanuel Macron arriving at the European Council summit in Brussels
PA Images

The French president said if there is a "negative vote" when the Prime Minister brings her blueprint back to Parliament, "we will be going to a no-deal”.

He made the comments as he arrived at the European Council summit in Brussels, where EU leaders will decide whether to offer the UK a conditional Brexit delay.

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The Prime Minister has requested a pause to the end of June - but European Council chief Donald Tusk said an offer up to 23 May would be likely as long as MPs approve the deal on the table.

Mrs May is expected to bring her deal back to the Commons for a third time next week, after MPs rejected it by 240 votes in January and 149 earlier this month.

Mr Macron said he was open to a short technical extension to the 29 March exit date “in the case of a positive vote”.

“In the case of a negative vote in the British parliament, we will be going to a no-deal. We all know that,” he added.

“It is absolutely essential to be clear in these days and these moments, because it is a matter of the good functioning of the EU.

“We cannot have what I would call an excessive extension which would harm our capacity to [make a] decision and to act.”

And he insisted: “The exit process has taken two years of negotiation. It cannot be renegotiated.”

Meanwhile, Xavier Bettel, the prime minister of Luxembourg, said: “If next week we are not able to find agreement in the House of Commons we are going in the direction of no deal.”

And Latvian prime minister Krisjanis Karins said the UK would have to quit with no deal or cancel Brexit altogether if MPs reject the agreement again next week.

Arriving at the summit herself today, Mrs May told reporters: “As I said yesterday, this delay is a matter of personal regret to me.

“But a short extension would give parliament the time to make a final choice that delivers on the result of the referendum.”