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Brexit Bulletin: Macron’s Glimmer of Hope

French President Emmanuel Macron offered Theresa May a bit more hope this weekend that the U.K. could strike a deal with the European Union that’s a bit better than the plain-vanilla trade accord that Brussels insists is all that’s on offer. But getting such a deal would require concessions that her party may not allow her to make.

In a BBC interview on Sunday, Macron said that May’s stated positions made “full access” to the European Union’s single market impossible. He said what was on offer was “something perhaps between this full access and a trade agreement.”

The EU position, as set out by chief negotiator Michel Barnier, is that because of the U.K.’s red lines, a Canada-style trade deal is the only option – and it’s a path that would do little for the U.K.’s huge service economy and would mark a dramatic downgrade from the access it enjoys now. Macron suggested that the finance industry could be included if May were also prepared to give ground. Asked if it could be included in a deal, he said: “It depends on what you’re ready to put on the table in terms of precondition.”


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