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French president warns UK could get less access to EU

Published:Saturday | January 20, 2018 | 4:12 PM
France's President Emmanuel Macron, gestures, during his meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, at the Elysee Palace, in Paris, on January 19. - AP Photo


French President Emmanuel Macron has suggested that Britain is likely to negotiate a unique relationship with the European Union (EU) before it leaves the bloc next year, while stressing that any agreement must be consistent with EU rules.

In remarks released Saturday, Macron told the BBC's Andrew Marr television program that Britain cannot maintain its full access to the EU's single market if it doesn't accept the bloc's founding principles, including the free movement of people and the jurisdiction of EU courts.

"This special way should be consistent with the preservation of the single market and our collective interests," he said. "And you should understand that you cannot, by definition, have the full access to the single market if you don't tick the box."

That means Britain must continue to contribute to the EU budget and accept the four freedoms guaranteed by the bloc - free movement of people, goods, services and capital - if it wants to maintain full access to the single market, Macron said. The full interview will be broadcast Sunday.