French Foreign Minister Says Brexit ‘Lifts Taboo’ on Leaving EU

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French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said Wednesday the UK’s formal letter triggering Brexit process ended a long record of no departures from the European Union.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The minister said this announcement "has an advantage of bringing clarity." He stressed the will of the British people would be respected, but their decision would prompt the remaining 27 members to strengthen the union.

"The Brexit lifts a taboo on EU’s irreversibility," Ayrault said at the French Foreign Ministry in Paris, adding the letter came just days after the union marked its 60th anniversary.

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Ayrault once again said London could not "cherry-pick" terms of its future relationship with Brussels, something the British prime minister acknowledged in her letter to European Council chief Donald Tusk.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May signed the six-page note of notification earlier in the day. It was handed over to Tusk by UK envoy in Brussels Tim Barrow under the terms of the Lisbon Treaty on exit process.

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