Brexit: Macron warns Europe could split after Britain leaves EU and calls for unity

 French President says same unified EU approach from first phase of the negotiations would continue into the second

Friday 05 January 2018 02:03
What is Article 50?

Emmanuel Macron has warned fellow European leaders to remain focused on their “collective interest” during Brexit negotiations lest an “unfavourable situation” befall the remaining 27 EU members.

The French President said the continent could suffer if individual countries used Brexit to follow their own interests and that states must avoid the “prisoner’s dilemma”.

In the famous game theory scenario, two people act for their own gain and both lose out even though they pursued an apparently rational course of action.

“I think this is the right method as it avoids divisions and once again allows us to preserve the collective interest,” Mr Macron told the Daily Telegraph.

“Each of us can have our own interests. That’s what the prisoner’s dilemma is all about. Everyone can have an interest in negotiating on their own, and think they can negotiate better than their neighbour.

“If we do that, it is probable that collectively we will create a situation which is unfavourable to the European Union and thus to each one of us,” he added.

The bloc’s united front from phase one of talks would return in the second phase, Mr Macron said.

The comments come days after David Davis, the Brexit Secretary, said the next round of EU negotiations would generate the same “public thunder and lightning” as the previous stage.

In an article for the Daily Telegraph, Mr Davis said the negations would “not be straightforward” but he does believe “they will be successful, because the future of the Europe continent is best served by strong and successful relationships.”

“I do not believe the strength of this cooperation needs change because we are leaving the European Union,” Mr Davis added.

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