French government says new Brexit delay ‘in nobody’s interest’

PARIS (AFP) – France believes an additional delay to Britain’s exit from the European Union (EU) is “in nobody’s interest,” a government spokeswoman said yesterday, as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson seeks support from MPs for a new divorce deal.

“It’s now up to the British Parliament to say what it thinks, it’s no longer up to the EU,” Sibeth Ndiaye told journalists after a Cabinet meeting. “So a vote needs to be taken on the heart of the matter, not just stalling tactics to gain time,” she said.

Ndiaye did not say if France would oppose any new delay for Brexit, which Johnson was forced by British lawmakers to seek last Saturday. It was a humiliating move, coming just days after Johnson secured a new exit accord with EU negotiators.

The British “need to give a clear answer on what is an extremely simple alternative: Are they in favour of this accord, or against it,” Ndiaye said. “Once we have a clear answer to a question which… has been the subject of more than two years of negotiations, we can determine what our attitude will be.”

Demonstrators hold placards and EU and Union flags as they take part in a march by the People’s Vote organisation in central London on October 19 calling for a final say in a second referendum on Brexit. PHOTO: AFP