French president Emmanuel Macron has said that Brexit is the product of “lies and false promises”.
Mr Macron used his annual New Year’s message to the people of France to assure them that the UK will remain a friend and ally after its exit from the European Union.
But he questioned the idea that Britain’s sovereignty will be strengthened by its departure from the EU, which was formally completed at 11pm on New Year’s Eve with the transition out of the single market and customs union and the framework of Brussels rules and regulations.
And he insisted that France’s destiny was as part of Europe.
Mr Macron was seen in London as the main obstacle to the finalisation of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement accepted by Boris Johnson on Christmas Eve, after he battled to protect the rights of France’s fishing fleet to continue taking catches in UK territorial waters.
The final deal – which saw the EU share of fish cut by just 25 per cent over five years, rather than the 80 per cent over three years initially demanded by the UK – was greeted as a betrayal by Britain’s fishing community, and Mr Macron said that it had protected the interests of France’s fishermen, as well as other industries.
In a video address from the Elysee Palace, Mr Macron said: “This evening, for the first time, a country – the United Kingdom – is leaving the European Union. Read from source….