March 13, 2019 / 4:50 PM / 8 days ago

Brexit withdrawal agreement no longer negotiable: Macron

FILE PHOTO: French President Emmanuel Macron delivers a speech during the closing session of the Intelligence College in Europe meeting at the Foreign Affairs Ministry in Paris, France March 5, 2019. Ludovic Marin/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

NAIROBI (Reuters) - French President Emmanuel Macron said Britain would need to come up with a clear reason for requesting an extension to the March 29 deadline for leaving the European Union, saying extra time could not be used to renegotiate the withdrawal.

“The withdrawal agreement is not negotiable,” Macron said during a visit to Kenya. “If the British ask for a delay it could perhaps be a technical delay to allow more time to put their departure in place.

“But if an additional delay is requested, they need to explain why,” he added. “It cannot be to allow more negotiations over something we’ve already negotiated for many months and said cannot be further negotiated.”

The British parliament on Tuesday rejected the withdrawal agreement Prime Minister Theresa May negotiated with the European Union, raising the likelihood that Britain will either leave the EU without a deal or try to ask for more time.

Reporting by John Irish in Nairobi; Writing by Luke Baker; Editing by Richard Lough

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