French President Emmanuel Macron told CNBC Friday that the problem that U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May has is that nobody explained to the British people the consequences of a Brexit vote.
When asked if the European Union would be able to make some verbal concessions to allow May to sell a Brexit deal at home, Macron told CNBC that there’s no room for such unofficial compromises.
“There are concessions to make from both negotiating teams during phase one, but we aren’t going to make concessions based on discourse,” he said.
“The objectives are fixed, they’re conducted from the European side by Michel Barnier, and we have to respect that,” Macron told CNBC, referring to the EU’s approach of discussing citizens’ rights, financial settlement and the Irish border, before moving on to talks on trade.
“I believe the problem that Theresa May has is that those who defended Brexit have never explained to the British people what the consequences are,” he said after a European Union summit in Brussels, Belgium.
Speaking at the same summit, May had denied earlier Friday that the U.K. had increased its financial offer to the European Union as part of its steps to leave the bloc.
“What I’ve made clear to my EU counterparts in relation to financial contribution is what I set out in my Florence (Italy) speech, which is that I’ve said nobody need be concerned for the current budget plan that they would have to pay more or receive less as a result of the U.K. leaving and that we will honor the commitments we have made during our membership,” May told reporters.
Nobody explained the consequences of Brexit to the British people: Macron