FRENCH PRESIDENT EMMANUEL Macron has suggested the UK could get a special trade deal with the European Union after Brexit.
However, he warned that Britain would not be able to have full access to the single market without accepting the EU’s rules.
In an interview with BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show, Macron said that the UK cannot “cherry-pick” the elements of the EU it likes.
He said that that the UK should not gain access to the single market without accepting its “preconditions”. These include budget contributions, freedom of movement within the EU and the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice.
Macron’s comments came during his first UK visit since becoming French president, during which he held talks with Prime Minister Theresa May.
When he was questioned on whether there should be a bespoke special solution for Britain, Macron said: “Sure, but this special way should be consistent with the preservation of the single market and our collective interests.
And you should understand that you cannot, by definition, have the full access to the single market if you don’t tick the box.
He said that as soon as a country decides not to join the EU preconditions, then it cannot be considered full access.
“There should be no cherry-picking in the single market because that’s a dismantling of the single market,” he said.
“What is important is to not make people believe that it is possible to [have your cat and eat it].”
During the interview, Macron said access to the EU just for the UK’s financial services sector was “not feasible” if the UK won’t accept the conditions of the single market.
He did, however, stress that he does not want to “unplug” the city from the EU.
“It doesn’t make sense because it’s part of the whole financing of our European Union,” Macron said.
I do respect this vote, I do regret this vote, and I would love to welcome you again.
“It’s a mistake when you just ask yes or no when you don’t ask people how to improve the situation and explain how to improve it,” he said.
Theresa May has repeatedly made it clear that the UK government does not wish to remain in the single market. She has, however, noted that a comprehensive trade deal covering goods and services is in the interest of both the UK and EU.