Emmanuel Macron: Britain could get a special trade deal after Brexit

Posted On: 
21st January 2018

French President Emmanuel Macron has handed a boost to Theresa May by saying the UK could get a special trade deal with the EU after Brexit.

Theresa May met Emmanuel Macron as he visited the UK this week
PA Images

During his visit to the UK this week, Mr Macron said Britain could have “deeper relations” to the EU compared with other non-member countries such as Norway.

But he said access to the single market - and access for the City to the EU financial services sector - would be impossible unless the UK agreed to sign up to the rules of the trading area.

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However, he also said it would make no sense to “unplug” the City of London from the EU because “it's part of the whole financing of our European Union”.

Speaking to the Andrew Marr show, Mr Macron said the final Brexit deal could fall somewhere between the single market and a separate trade agreement.

But he warned: "There should be no cherry-picking in the single market because that's a dismantling of the single market.

"As soon as you decide not to join the [EU] preconditions, it's not a full access.

"What is important is to not make people believe that it is possible to [have your cake and eat it]."

Meanwhile, in an interview for German newspaper Bild, the Prime Minister insisted her hoped-for deal with the EU was “not about cherry-picking”.

"We want to negotiate a comprehensive free trade agreement and a security partnership," she said.

"Because we don't start from the position of, say, Canada or Norway - there are significant and long-grown economic links between us.

"What I want and hope is that the importance of a lasting good relationship for people on both sides of the Channel is recognised."

It comes as Carolyn Fairbairn, boss of powerful business lobby group the CBI, prepares to call for the UK to stay in “a customs union” after Brexit, according to the Sunday Telegraph.

Elsewhere in his Marr appearance, Mr Macron said the Brexit vote was a “mistake” and that the UK could still change its mind about quitting the bloc.