April 9, 2019 / 2:50 PM / 11 days ago

France certainly open to Brexit extension, Irish PM says

Ireland's Prime Minister (Taoiseach) Leo Varadkar and European Union Chief Brexit Negotiator Michel Barnier leave a news conference after their meeting to discuss the latest Brexit developments, at Government Buildings in Dublin, Ireland April 8, 2019. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Ireland’s prime minister expressed confidence that his French counterpart was open to offering Britain an extension to Brexit talks after the pair met last week, but that President Emmanuel Macron favored setting strict conditions.

“I’m always reluctant to act as a spokesperson for a head of state for another country but I think it’s fair to say that he is certainly open to it (an extension). I’ve no reason to believe, despite suggestions in some newspapers, that France would even consider vetoing it,” Leo Varadkar told Ireland’s parliament.

“But he (Macron) certainly wants to know about conditionality, particularly the issue of the United Kingdom being involved in future decision making. If they’re leaving, should they be involved in shaping the new CAP (Common Agricultural Policy), the MFF (EU budget), in electing the next president of the Commission.”

Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Alison Williams

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