France says ‘non’ to Brexit delay

Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian has said that under the current circumstances France won’t offer the UK another extension to its withdrawal from the EU. “We’re not going to do this every three months,” he said.

France’s patience with the United Kingdom’s failure to find an acceptable deal to leave the European Union is wearing thin, according to Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.

“In the current circumstances, it’s no. … We are not going to go through this every three months,” Le Drian told the CNEWS broadcaster.

“The (British) say that they want to put forward other solutions, alternative arrangements so that they can leave,” he added, referring to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s promises to find a way out of the backstop mechanism for Northern Ireland, the main sticking point.

“But we have not seen them and so it is ‘no’… let the British authorities tell us the way forward,” he said. “Let them take responsibility for their situation… They have to tell us what they want.”

Britain has so far been given two extensions to its proposed withdrawal from the EU. Brexit was originally scheduled for March 29 this year, exactly two years after Article 50 of the EU Treaty, which regulates a country’s withdrawal, was triggered in 2017.

Britain is currently due to leave the bloc on October 31, and Johnson has pledged to leave without a deal if necessary, insisting earlier this week that he would “rather be dead in a ditch” than ask for another delay.

But the UK parliament last week passed a law blocking the country from leaving the EU without a deal, and mandating that the prime minister seek another Brexit extension if no deal were passed through parliament.