TIE: President Emmanuel Macron is pushing for a new “alliance” between the EU and Britain
President Emmanuel Macron is pushing for a new “alliance” between the EU and Britain.
It brings much-needed support for the Prime Minister as the deadline to reach a deal approaches.
Macron aims to use an EU summit next month in Salzburg, Austria, to strengthen ties.
A new continental structure would see “concentric circles” with the EU and euro at its core and the UK in a second ring.
The claims emerged after EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier struck an optimistic tone, stating: “We are prepared to offer Britain a partnership such as there never has been with any other third country.”
The comments helped trigger a sharp rise for sterling on the international money markets.
Mr Macron fears a no-deal Brexit would damage Europe.
A diplomatic source said: “He sees a no-deal scenario as something that would break links and poison relations at a time when Europe needs to be united beyond the EU.”
DEAL: Mr Macron fears a no-deal Brexit would damage Europe
Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab moved to present an upbeat message to a House of Lords committee this week, stating he was “confident that a deal is within our sights”.
However, he indicated negotiations could go beyond the October deadline.
Mr Raab said: “As we enter the final phase of negotiations in the lead up to the October council and the possibility it may creep beyond that, we want to see some renewed energy.”