FRANCE urges the EU to stick to its guns in Brexit negotiations next week, although it admits that a no-deal outcome could ruin its economy.
He needs a Brexit trade pact to prop up his economy, but has vowed not to be ‘weak’ when talks reach their turning point in 10 days.
And with negotiations on a razor’s edge, Paris has sparked yet another row with Britain over our quarantine rules, accusing No 10 of taking a ‘playground’ approach.
Chief negotiators Michel Barnier and David Frost will meet next week to organize a series of “crucial” negotiations in London from September 7.
Eurocrats have warned Downing St that he has only two weeks left to save negotiations from collapse.
And the Minister for Europe, Clément Beaune, said: “We could accept for convenience an agreement too quick and too weak.
“It is in our interest and in the economic interest of many sectors in France, but we cannot be weak.
“We cannot accept access to our market if they do not respect our rules on competition, the environment and health.
“We cannot talk about sovereignty and independence if we do not pass the test of sovereignty and independence that Brexit represents. ”
German leader Angela Merkel said talks are now entering “crucial weeks in which we need to clarify future relations between Britain”.
An enraged Mr Beaune also criticized the UK for making a “political decision” to remove France from its list of air corridors.
He said the move was medically unwarranted and Brexit was a factor in ministers’ thinking.
And he criticized the British authorities for having slapped on the restrictions without warning Paris, fulminating: “We are not in the schoolyard”.
In a TV interview he said: “The UK is leaving the EU, that’s just a bit of context.
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“The UK honestly has a more political approach to the way it deals with this crisis.
“Honestly, I think that’s part of it. Of course, there are health criteria. Of course, I also don’t deny that the epidemic is increasing. ”
Emmanuel Macron has vowed to retaliate by hitting the British with quarantine restrictions in the coming days.
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