Barnier pleads with Macron to listen to Brexit ‘sentiments’ as tensions in France grow

Michael Barnier discusses plans for future in French politics

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Michel Barnier has stressed the importance of other European countries within the trading bloc to learn from Brexit in order to prevent growing unrest within their state. He added that it is not too late for EU nations to examine why some of their population choose to reject Brussels. 

Mr Barnier said: “Let me tell you, as the politician who I always was and will remain I recommend that we spend some time to understand why Brexit happened.

“Perhaps it’s too late to ask this question to the British, it’s not too late for us and for other European countries why there was this rejection of Brussels, of the European Union and maybe of globalization and its consequences.

“In many poor or troubled regions of the United Kingdom where industry has disappeared, it exists here – less public service, feelings of not being protected.

“This popular sentiment is not populism, it is a popular sentiment that I recommend listening to.”

President Macron could be set for a challenge from Mr Barnier for the French Presidency as the European Union’s chief Brexit negotiator refused to rule out a future run for the position.

Last month, Mr Barnier told France24 that he plans to remain an active politician in French politics following the completion of the Brexit negotiations.

He added that plans to get involved in within France’s political scene but will wait to see where he can be most useful.

France 24’s Catherine Nicholson asked: “Are you planning a run at the French Presidency?”

Michael Barnier discusses plans for future in French politics

Mr Barnier replied: “I plan to remain what I am which is an active and invested politician.

“For as long as I have the energy, enthusiasm and outrage, I will get involved in this country that requires unity and needs all kinds of energies.

“I will see with my friends where exactly I can be the most useful.

“But I cannot say more yet as I am still in Brussels to finish my mission with President von der Leyen.”

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During the same interview, Mr Barnier also stated his work has not finished regarding the Brexit deal as he warned it is very likely he would interact with the UK again.

He warned the narrow window to approve the Brexit deal at the end of December meant there was still a lot of paperwork and ratification that needed to be done.

Mr Barnier said: “First of all my mission isn’t over, the agreements we reached with Boris Johnson came late, extremely late on Christmas Eve. 

He added: “The president of the Commission asked me to stay by her side for a few weeks as a special advisor during this process, so I’m staying in Brussels while the deal is being ratified.”

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