EU Comm’r: Door ‘Still Open’ to UK, urges Macron to Show Way on Budget Deficit

EU Comm’r: Door ‘Still Open’ to UK, urges Macron to Show Way on Budget Deficit
AFP 2018/ John ThysEurope19:49 28.01.2018Get short URL



European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Union has said the UK still has a chance for a change of mind and points Macron that 3% deficit is “not a target, but a limit”.

The doors are open

When Pierre Moscovici was asked what he thinks about the suggestions of some British politicians to conduct a new referendum, after the details of the divorce with the EU are negotiated and clear for everyone, he said that “the doors are open” and that if the UK decides to abort the initiated Brexit process, it would be welcomed by the union.

The UK is planning to leave the European Union in 2019, but until that moment it has to settle the terms of separation, as well as future relations between itself and the EU. For now, the UK has managed to negotiate EU citizens’ rights in the UK, the British-Irish border and London’s financial obligations to Brussels.

READ MORE: ‘In All But Name’: Tories Press Gov’t to Stay Course on EU Divorce

During the next stage of negotiations, which started in December 2017, the two parties will concentrate on how EU-UK ties will look during the post-Brexit transition period and future trade and security cooperation between the two. London wants the new trade relations with the EU to resemble those before Brexit.

To be the leader, you must show example

After long being under the EU’s microscope over its budget deficit, France has managed to reach an estimated 2.9% deficit in 2017, at the cost of reduced public spending.

“Emmanuel Macron wants to be […] the leader in Europe and to be the leader in Europe, you must show example,” says Moscovici in his interview.

When asked about the matter, the Economic Affairs Commissioner points out that 3% must not be a mark to strive for — it’s the limit. And though he is satisfied with what France has achieved, he points out that if it aims to take a higher position in the EU, it should show results that exceed the average in the union, which is an average 0.9% budget deficit.

READ MORE: Emmanuel Macron Drives Reform Agenda Home in France Despite Shaky Start

Earlier the same week, France’s Court of Auditors issued a report where it warns that despite improved deficit numbers, France’s economy is still out of the safe-zone and urges to speed up structural reforms in the country.