- French president says UK must accept it will lose trade access if it diverges from the single market.
- If Britain wants full free trade it must accept open immigration, budget contributions and EU law.
- He warns that there can be no “cherry picking” for the UK financial sector.
- Macron leaves the door open for Britain to rejoin the EU.
LONDON – Britain will see its trade with Europe restricted after Brexit unless it agrees to continued payments into EU budgets and open migration from the continent, President Macron has warned.
The French President said that while it was possible for the British government to negotiate a bespoke deal, which allowed full access to European markets, such a deal would be dependent on maintaining all current EU rules.
“To get full access to the single market you have to contribute to the budget and accept the freedoms, the four pillars and you have to accept the jurisdiction [of the European Court of Justice],” he told Andrew Marr in an interview due to be aired on BBC One on Sunday.
“As soon as you decide not to join these preconditions, it’s not a full access. It’s something between this full access and a trade agreement.”
He dismissed suggestions that Britain could maintain full access to just some parts of the single market, such as in the financial sector.
“There should be no cherry-picking in the single market because that’s a dismantling of the single market,” he said.
He added that the British people needed to be aware of the consequences of Brexit.
“It’s important not to make people believe that you can [have your cake and eat it]” he told Marr.
The door is open
He told Marr it was not too late for the UK to change its mind about Brexit, describing the referendum as a “mistake”.
“I do respect this vote, I do regret this vote, and I would love to welcome you again,” he said.
Macron’s comments come as Theresa May’s deputy also left the door open for Britain rejoining in the future.
“There’s going to be a need for a system of cooperation within the continent of Europe, including the UK that covers both economic and political cooperation,” Lidington told the Daily Telegraph.
He added that “we may be looking in a generation’s time at an EU that is also configured differently from what it is today, and the exact nature of the relationship between the UK and that future system – whatever it turns out to be – of European cooperation is something that future parliaments, future generations, will have to consider,” he said.