Brexit: France ‘will not be intimidated’ during negotiaions with UK

Brexit: France 'will not be intimidated' during negotiaions with UK
Illustration pic. AFP
France's new Europe Minister has reminded the UK that his government will not accept a Brexit "at any price".

Clément Beaune, 38, (pictured below) took over the role of Europe Minister from predecessor Amelie de Montchalin in the recent government reshuffle.

He was described as President Emmanuel Macron's “sherpa” and “Mr Europe” for his role in accompanying the president as an advisor during EU summits.

In an interview with France Inter radio Beaune said France will continue to take a strong stance to defend its interests.

“I will say one thing very simply: we will not accept a deal at any price because this is not in the interests of France or Europe,” he said.

“It’s better to have a deal, because it organises our trading relationship, it avoids having customs duties for example. We trade a lot with the UK so it’s in our interest.


Beaune said any deal must protect France and Europe's “values and rules”.

“It’s out of the question that the British should have access to our markets without respecting our rules; our health and safety, food and environmental standards.”

On the thorny issue of fishing the junior minister said France would give no ground.

“We will always be uncompromising with regard to protecting the interests of our economic sectors, such as fishing, both for France and for Europe.

“So, it’s better to have a deal and we’re giving ourselves the best chances of obtaining one. We still have a few weeks to negotiate it. But it’s better to have no deal, than a bad deal.

“But we must not let ourselves be intimidated,” Beaune added.

“I want to tell fishermen and farmers and other sectors that we won't be intimidated when it comes to defending our essential interests.”



Member comments

The Local is not responsible for content posted by users.

  1. Interesting words from the new minister – however allowing the French Fishermen the same access as they have now is not likely to happen – besides a lot of the fish caught is exported back to the uk (cod for example). It is a mad situation that fish in UK waters are landed in France and then transported to the UK and the UK has to buy them with marked up cost. Hardly a green process. If France really wants a deal it will have to except some sort of compromise – its either that or no deal and no access to UK waters, and i cannot see how that will be in the French fisherman interests to have no access

Become a Member to leave a comment.Or login here.