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Macron is prepared to throw May a Brexit lifeline and stop Britain crashing out without a deal

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Emmanuel Macron Theresa MayLeon
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  • Emmanuel Macron reportedly wants the EU to be more
    generous in Brexit talks in order to avoid no deal.
  • The French President is set to call for more
    flexibility in certain areas at a summit of European leaders
    next month.
  • He is likely to focus on the area of security, where
    the UK is set to be excluded from a number of
    programmes. 
  • Both sides are still a long way from an agreement on
    the Northern Irish border.

LONDON — Emmanuel Macron has urged European leaders to throw
Theresa May a lifeline and prevent the United Kingdom crashing
out of the EU without a deal.

The French President believes no deal would do huge damage to the
EU, according to The Times.

Because of this, Macron will reportedly use a summit of EU
leaders in Austria next month to argue for an EU based on
“concentric circles,” with EU nation states in the central ring,
and the UK close by in the second ring.

“He [Macron] 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,” diplomatic sources told The Times.

Macron is unlikely to soften his position on the indivisibility
of the single market. Prime Minister May wants a “common
rulebook” for goods after Brexit, which would effectively give
the UK full single market access for goods.

However, he is more likely to urge European leaders to more
generous on security. The EU has May’s red lines mean the UK must
leave security initiatives including the Galileo sat-nav project and
European Arrest
Warrant.

EU and UK negotiators are still a far away from an
agreement on the thorny issue of the Northern Irish backstop with
just weeks to go until the October European Council summit where
leaders want to finalise a Brexit deal.

Without an agreement on the backstop — the fallback option if
trade talks fail to preserve the open Irish border — the UK will
crash out without a withdrawal agreement, unleashing chaos and
disruption across all areas of life.

In its first batch of no deal Brexit technical notices published last week, the UK
government said that no deal would create an array of new border
checks and threaten the pensions of millions of people, among
other issues.

Chancellor Philip Hammond also said leaving the EU would
make the UK £150 billion over 15 years.

Brexit talks are set to continue on a regular basis until the
October council, with UK Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab scheduled
to meet Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, on Friday,
followed by talks the following week.

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