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No punishment, but no cherry picking - France on Brexit


brussels bureau

No punishment, but no cherry picking - France on Brexit

You can forget any cherry-picking when it comes to Brexit. That from France’s foreign minister, who has also said the upcoming EU divorce talks will not be aimed at punishing the UK.

“I say it clearly here, there will be no cherry picking, otherwise it means the end of Europe,” said Jean-Marc Ayrault.

“But it’s not about punishing the United Kingdom, who says it’s about punishment? I heard that expression used by my counterpart. In any case, it’s not the position of France.”

War movie ‘beatings’

It comes after British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson raised heckles, by comparing any punishment attempt to a World War Two escape movie.

“If Monsieur Hollande wants to administer punishment beatings to anybody who chooses to escape, rather in the manner of some sort of World War Two movie, then, you know, I don’t think that, that is the way forward,” said Johnson.

“I think, actually, it’s not in the interests of our friends and partners.”

May’s vision

British Prime Minister Theresa May has laid out her vision for a clean break with the EU – by quitting its single market.

“Britain must face a period of momentous change. It means we must go through a tough negotiation and forge a new role for ourselves in the world,” she told an audience at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

“It remains overwhelmingly and compellingly in Britain’s national interest that the EU as an organisation should succeed.”

Parliament approval?

The UK’s Supreme Court is due to deliver its ruling next Tuesday (24 January 2017) on whether May can begin the divorce process – without parliament’s assent.

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