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Emmanuel Macron Tells Theresa May EU's 'Door Remains Open' to UK

15 Juin 2017

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday (13 June) the door was "always open" for Britain to remain in the European Union despite Prime Minister Theresa May saying Brexit talks would begin next week.

'But it was a sovereign decision taken by the people to come out of the European Union'.

May said the British government was already working with social media companies "to halt the spread of extremist material and poisonous propaganda that warps young minds", adding: "But we know they need to do more".

She plans to form a coalition with Northern Irish unionists, the DUP, to stay in power, but the political turmoil had put in doubt plans to start Brexit talks next week.

"We have been very clear we want to maintain a close relationship and a close partnership with the European Union and individual member states into the future, including in the areas we've discussed this evening".

"From a European point of view, as long as the negotiations are not over, there is still a possibility to change the course of events", Macron said, but warned that "as the negotiations go on, it will be more and more hard to go backwards".

But she countered: "There's a unity of objective among people in the UK".

Mr Macron said it was not for him to say whether the decision should be questioned.

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"We now have strong and stable leadership - but in France, not Britain", the Financial Times said in a commentary, echoing the "strong and stable" mantra of May's election campaign.

Larger scale attacks killed dozens in Nice last year and in Paris the year before that.

The PM's predecessor David Cameron, meanwhile, claimed in Poland that there would be "pressure for a softer Brexit" and Parliament now "deserves a say" on the issue. Before heading for a dinner of duck liver pate and monkfish and a friendly soccer match between England and France, the two said they would work together to find new ways to encourage firms to clamp down on internet hate speech.

Before that game, fans from both countries joined in as the words to the French national anthem, "La Marseillaise", were displayed on the Wembley Stadium screens and wreathes were laid.

An English flag was displayed by a section of the Stade de France crowd as the teams entered the field on a balmy evening. Twenty-three people died in an explosion at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, in May.

"We remember those who have tragically lost their lives and pay tribute to the bravery of our emergency services, whose efforts saved many others".

Mrs May clearly enjoyed the match and even joined in a Mexican wave.