Macron caves as EU poised to offer Britain major post-Brexit role

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Poland, Germany and the Netherlands were drawing proposals to allow Brexit Britain “back into the fold” of European foreign discussions.

Speaking to The Telegraph a senior EU official said: “Continental leaders need to say we’re sitting down, and it would be great if you sat down with us.”

In a bid to convince Boris Johnson to agree to the plans, the UK may be offered the first rotating presidency of the new European body, reports say. 

The proposal was believed to be opposed by French President Emmanuel Macron.

But speaking at a European Union event in Strasbourg on Monday, the French leader said he was in favour of a new type of “political European community” that would allow countries outside of the European Union to join “European core values.”

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Mr Macron called his re-election last month a signal that the French had wanted more Europe.

But he made clear that Ukraine’s desire to join the bloc would take several years and as a result needed to be given some hope in the short-term.

“Ukraine by its fight and its courage is already a heartfelt member of our Europe, of our family, of our union,” President Macron said.

“Even if we grant it candidate status tomorrow, we all know perfectly well that the process to allow it to join would take several years indeed, probably several decades.”

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Rather than bringing down stringent standards to allow countries to join more quickly, Mr Macron suggested creating a parallel entity that could appeal to countries who aspired to join the bloc or, in an apparent reference to Britain, countries which had left the union.

He said this “European political community” would be open to democratic European nations adhering to its core values in areas such as political cooperation, security, cooperation in energy, transport, investment of infrastructure or circulation of people.

“Joining it would not necessarily prejudge future EU membership,” he said. “Nor would it be closed to those who left it.”

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