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France’s Macron tells UK’s Johnson: keep your word on Brexit deal

g7 summit in cornwall
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson and France's President Emmanuel Macron attend a bilateral meeting during G7 summit in Carbis Bay, Cornwall

By Michel Rose

French President Emmanuel Macron told British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Saturday that Franco-British relations could only be reset if he stood by the Brexit divorce deal he signed with the European Union.

Since Britain completed its exit from the EU late last year, relations with the bloc and particularly France have soured, with Macron becoming the most vocal critic of London’s refusal to honour the terms of part of its Brexit deal.

At a meeting at the Group of Seven world’s most advanced economies in southwestern England, Macron told Johnson the two countries had common interests, but that ties could only improve if Johnson kept his word on Brexit.

“The president told Boris Johnson there needed to be a reset of the Franco-British relationship,” the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said.

“This can happen provided that he keeps his word with the Europeans,” the source said, adding that Macron spoke in English to Johnson.

Johnson will meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel later on Saturday, where she could also raise the row over part of the EU divorce deal, called the Northern Ireland protocol.

The British leader, who is hosting the G7 meeting, wants the summit to focus on global issues, but has stood his ground on trade with Northern Ireland, calling on the EU to be more flexible in its approach to easing trade to the province from Britain.

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Reuters News Service