Exclusive-French minister rejects UK Brexit renegotiation request


FILE PHOTO: French Junior Minister for European Affairs Clement Beaune speaks during a press conference to outline France's strategy for the deployment of future COVID-19 vaccines, in Paris as the coronavirus disease outbreak continues in France, December 3, 2020. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/Pool

PARIS (Reuters) -France's Europe minister Clement Beaune rejected on Thursday Britain's request to renegotiate the Brexit deal governing trade with Northern Ireland, dismissing British accusations of European dogmatism as a "tall tale".

Britain on Wednesday demanded a new deal from the European Union to govern post-Brexit trade with the British province, saying it already had cause to step away from parts of the deal that it struck with Brussels only last year.

London accuses Brussels of being too purist, or legalistic, in interpreting what the deal means for some goods moving from Britain to Northern Ireland.

The European Commission earlier on Thursday said it would not renegotiate the deal and work on "creative solutions", but the first reaction from France showed some members states were getting impatient with Britain.

"The European Union has dedicated days and nights for the past five years to find pragmatic solutions with the United Kingdom," Beaune told Reuters. "The narrative of a rigid and dogmatic Europe is a tall tale."

France has consistently taken a hard line in Brexit negotiations, often expressing out loud what other member states said privately.

Beaune, the rising star of the French government, is a close ally of President Emmanuel Macron. He first worked as Macron's Europe adviser before being named a cabinet minister, and has followed Brexit negotiations behind the scenes from the onset.

"We have been working for months to make the protocol requested by the British government and voted by the British parliament work," he said.

"We can still work on practical solutions, but not empty the protocol of its substance or renegotiate it," he added.

"How could we renegotiate with a partner that cannot respect its own commitments?" said Beaune.

(Reporting by Michel Rose; editing by Christian Lowe and Chris Reese and Kirsten Donovan)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 46
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights
   

Next In World

Venezuela says U.S. military plane violated its airspace
Guatemala attorney general removes head of anti-corruption unit
Biden authorizes $100 million in emergency funds for Afghan refugees
Blinken to raise human rights with counterparts in India -U.S. official
Over 71% of Lebanon's population risks losing access to safe water - UNICEF
Senior U.S. diplomat to lead talks with Russia next week -State Department
U.S. military carries out second strike in Somalia this week
U.S. condemns Taliban attacks on former interpreters, Afghans -State Dept
France says boatload of 42 migrants rescued in English Channel
Afghan Air Force hurt by inoperable aircraft - Afghan lawmakers

Stories You'll Enjoy


Vouchers