Macron unlikely to be swayed by new draft conclusions

French President Emmanuel Macron is now telling leaders that France is insisting on an extension until June, and nothing further, according to a senior EU diplomat.

A French diplomat has told reporters they doubt the updated draft conclusions for the EU summit will be enough to satisfy French President Emmanuel Macron.

Paragraph seven of the document, which stipulates that Britain will not wreck havoc with EU processes during an extension period, has been amended in an effort to ensure good behaviour.

But the diplomat is doubtful that Macron will agree to those conclusions in their current form. The French President earlier told reporters that the UK must not be allowed to interfere with the “European project.”

France has been the major holdout against granting Britain an extension until now, but the leaders of countries including Spain, Belgium and Luxembourg also expressed concerns at last month’s summit.

EU leaders could agree on a Brexit extension — but only on the condition that British MPs approve Theresa May’s deal.

They were the words of French President Emmanuel Macron as he arrived for an EU summit in Brussels today.

He was referring to UK Prime Minister May’s request to put back the Brexit deadline by three months to June 30.

“But we have to be clear,” Macron told reporters. “We can discuss and agree on an extension if this is a technical extension in case of a yes vote on the agreement. In case of a no vote, I mean, directly it will guide everybody to a no deal, for sure.

“If there is to be an extension, it can only be a technical one. We cannot have a long-lasting situation where there is no visibility, no purpose, no political majority. There must be a deep political change for there to be anything else other than a technical extension.”

British MPs have twice rejected the EU divorce deal that May has agreed with Brussels but there could be a third vote next week.

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