France’s Europe minister on Brexit, immigration and Britain’s future EU role

The FT’s Paris bureau chief Victor Mallet interviews Amélie de Montchalin, French secretary of state for European affairs. She says: ‘We want a European Commission which is able to decide and make progress, so that people can vote on results, not promises, concepts, or visions’. Read more at

What is important is that the uk people who voted in the referendum can go to the end of the process with a sovereignty which is the one of the british people the british institutions downing street and westminster are the places where the proxies will be decided second we always said that if the uk won’t sleeve and if he wants to leave in an orderly manner what

We have best on the table is the withdrawal agreement if the visual agreement is not ratified then the options are indeed if the uk won’t sleep to have a no deal this is not what we want we worked hard to have another option what will happen next is that we will have a future relationship we will have a future relationship because the first neighbor of the first

Neighbors of the uk our island and france geographically the we will not move you know the uk at the british islands will not go further in the west in the atlantic sea they will stay there so economically financially culturally in the research area in many many domains security defense there will be a future relationship what i would like to do is that we can

Manage smoothly in an olden manner this withdrawal period and your transition time where we can discuss how we want to have this official relationship ongoing what is important what are the priorities how do we get organized and this is for me urgent but it depends on the willingness and the capacity of the british policymakers and the british people to take a

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Decision which will be the consequence of the vote which happened more than two days ago what we want first is a european commission which is able to decide and make progress so as people in five years can vote on results and not just promises and not just concepts and not just visions but actual change in their own life daily lives about four things which we

Think most important one in the climate transition second is what we call protection both defense but also a migration third is our economic and social model how do we create jobs and how do we ensure social protection and fourth is how does europe counts on the international scene having a strong voice we france we try to propose and to unite and to unify and

To have more people coming along not because they like france or not that’s not the question but because they see a solution to a problem in a concrete proposal then second is we think we need to decide with the citizens much more to be more representative to be faster to be more reactive and to have the citizens voice more including in our capacity to decide

And to have negotiations in negotiations and if europe is led to diplomats even though i pretty much like the ministry i mean he and cato say but if europe is only that dealt with from the diplomatic effort we will not succeed we need the citizens voice and we need citizens to understand concretely what we do for them this is why we propose with the president

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To have a ongoing process of discussion between the commissioners and the citizens between the ministers and the citizens we have had this vague of this wave of european cities and consultations and we think we should keep going because it’s also obliged us politicians policymakers to speak about what we do what we aim at in normal plain english and not having

These very technocratic very technical debates that are very important but are not you know suited to have a proper dialogue with the citizens that at the end you know they trust us to find solutions to the big challenging challenges they see on in the in the nice migration is not about being hard or being soft is about being responsible and show solidarity

Being responsible in having frontiers and borders which are controlled which are not fancies but which are controlled to organize to know who is coming to europe and then to show solidarity because this the the migration flows cannot be only dealt with and managed by the countries of first entry we cannot let only spain into the malta and cyprus having to deal

With the migration because if we do so we create what we know at the moment a populist movement which because it’s not managed and organized with solidarity and responsibility have leave our free way to have very dangerous ideas

Transcribed from video
France's Europe minister on Brexit, immigration and Britain's future EU role By Financial Times

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