French president’s warning comes as Theresa May set to ask EU leaders for extension
'Emmanuel Macron has warned Britain is heading for a no-deal Brexit unless the House of Commons ratifies the withdrawal agreement negotiated with Brussels.
The stark choice for MPs was laid out by the French president shortly before the 27 EU heads of state and government listened to an appeal by Theresa May for a three-month Brexit delay.
“In case of a no vote or a no, directly it will guide everyone to a no deal, for sure,” Macron said. “This is it. We are ready.”
The British prime minister is asking the EU for a Brexit delay until 30 June to allow time to pass the necessary withdrawal legislation should she get her deal through the Commons next week.
Arriving at the summit, May told reporters: “I am here today to discuss with fellow leaders a short extension of article 50 until the end of June.
“As I said yesterday, this delay is of personal regret to me. But a short extension would give parliament the time to make a final choice that delivers on the result of the referendum.”
The EU is to reject that plea but instead agree in principle to a shorter extension of article 50 up to 22 May, to avoid any complications from the lack of European elections in the UK.
France has been one of the strongest in insisting a long Brexit delay should only be granted if there is a big change in British politics, such as a majority for a different kind of future relationship with the EU.
Macron, however, appeared to downplay such a development, saying he needed to see “a clear majority” for a different mandate on the future relationship.
“No extension either if there is not a clear majority to give a mandate on the future relationship,” he said. “We must respect the will of the British people, but also the European project. European leaders understand and respect the will of the British people, but we defend the interests of our own people.'
Read more: Macron: UK heading for no-deal Brexit if MPs reject May's plan