EMMANUEL Macron today ruled out yet another Brexit delay as he called on EU leaders to crackdown on Britain unless the new prime minister offers a second referendum.
The French President insisted that October 31 should be the “final, final deadline” to prevent Britain meddling in EU affairs. He conveyed his take-it-or-leave-it ultimatum in English as a warning to Theresa May’s successor in No.10. Speaking from the Elysee Palace, Mr Macron said: “I think this is the final, final deadline because I don’t want to have the New Commission and this new executive to deal with this.
“I think it is a big mistake to procrastinate.”
He added: “I do believe we now have to implement the British people’s decision. Except if the Britain people themselves decide something else.
“That’s why I was always pictured as the tough guy in the room on this Brexit issue. But I do endorse such a role.”
The French President is the most hardline of EU27 leaders on offering the next UK prime minister a further extension.
He believes another delay could allow Britain to influence the next European Commission and Council presidents.
Jean-Claude Juncker, the European Commission president, is expected to stand down from his role on November 1, at the same time Britain is due to leave the bloc.
But Mr Macron vowed to soften his position if Britain organises a second referendum or abandons Brexit altogether.
He said: “It’s feasible if we have the perspective of either a new referendum or a totally new scheme which would be acceptable for the 27 and our negotiator.”
He also ruled out any renegotiation of Mrs May’s hated Brexit deal, insisting efforts to rework the Irish backstop as a “non-started”.
Irish Europe minister Helen McEntee also ruled out changes being made to the backstop after Conservative leadership hopeful Sajid Javid said it would be possible to renegotiate the draft EU withdrawal agreement.
Ms McEntee said: “The mood has not changed. The withdrawal agreement will not change. The backstop cannot change.
“Much of what is in the withdrawal agreement was asked for by the UK. They were not bystanders in the two years it took to negotiate. A bit of realism is needed.”