PARIS — French President Emmanuel Macron said Tuesday that Britain will need to show flexibility in negotiations that will follow the country's departure from the European Union on Jan. 31.
Macron said post-Brexit talks will focus on maintaining deep links on security and foreign policy and defending the EU's economic interests.
Macron said that in light of Prime Minister Boris Johnson's insistence that negotiations on the future have to be over by the year's end, Britain will need to show “flexibility in line with that ambitious schedule."
Macron made the comments in Paris ahead of a meeting with Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic, at which discussions on the enlargement of the bloc will take place. France has been at odds with other EU members over the process by which Albania and North Macedonia can join the bloc, which after Britain's departure will total 27 countries.
Meanwhile in London, lawmakers were set to debate Johnson's Brexit withdrawal bill with the EU. Following December's general election at which his Conservatives won an 80-seat majority in the House of Commons, there is no doubt that the deal will pass and Britain will be on course to leave the EU on its scheduled departure date of Jan. 31.