close

News WrapGet Handpicked Stories from our editors directly to your mailbox

France warns it could vote against Brexit extension

File photo of French President Emmanuel Macron. Photograph:( AFP )

AFP Paris, France Mar 20, 2019, 09.44 PM (IST)

France warned Wednesday it might vote against Britain's demand for an extension to its planned EU departure date unless Theresa May presents a credible exit strategy to fellow European leaders.

"A situation in which Mrs May is unable to deliver sufficient guarantees on the credibility of her strategy at the European Council meeting would lead to the request being refused and a preference for a no deal," Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told parliament.

The remarks upped the pressure on the British prime minister ahead of a meeting of European leaders in Brussels which begins Thursday where Brexit is set to top the agenda.

Le Drian said an extension to the March 29 deadline would only be granted if May agreed to three conditions.

First, that any extension only be given to approve an exit deal negotiated by May and the other 27 European Union members, which has twice been rejected by British lawmakers.

Secondly, that May not seek to renegotiate the deal. 

And thirdly that Britain not participate in elections for the European Parliament which are scheduled for May 23-26.

Story highlights

The remarks upped the pressure on the British prime minister ahead of a meeting of European leaders in Brussels which begins Thursday where Brexit is set to top the agenda.