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    French President Emmanuel Macron (L) escorts Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May as they arrive to speak to the press at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, June 13, 2017

    Under Macron's 'Rational' Approach France May Block Early Brexit Transition Deal

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    French President Emmanuel Macron’s policy on Brexit remains pragmatic as France has sought to challenge London’s dominance in the European financial market after Brexit.

    Macron "will push for a tough outcome" of Brexit talks, as Paris wants to lure lucrative financial services from London after the UK leaves the European Union, former British Ambassador to France Lord Ricketts said.

    "When it comes to French interests, economic interest, in the Brexit negotiations he will be hard headed and he will push for a tough outcome," Ricketts was quoted as saying by The Daily Mail.

    The diplomat added that "there's an opportunity of draining jobs from the UK and into France" and Paris will try to not miss the chance.

    France is currently taking the hardest approach in ongoing Brexit negotiations. The UK’s Prime Minister Theresa May wants to hammer out a two-year transition deal at an EU summit in March so talks can swiftly progress to a future trade deal. However, France may block an early transition deal in a move which would harm British business.

    READ MORE: Merci Brexit, Beware Angela: Macron Knows 'How to Talk Big Business'

    At the same time, a senior EU diplomat told The Telegraph that "it is absolutely not a foregone conclusion" that a transition deal will be reached in March.

    The French president wants to be perceived as a hardliner in the context of Brexit talks, because he has repeatedly said that giving Britain "the better of the two worlds would simply send the wrong message to the rest of Europe," Alexandra de Hoop Scheffer, a researcher at the German Marshall Fund, told Bloomberg.

    On Thursday, Macron travels to Sandhurst for talks with May in his first official trip since he won the election last year. During their meeting, Macron and May are expected to discuss common points between the two nations.

    "A strong relationship between our two countries is in the UK, France and Europe’s interests, both now and into the future," May said in a statement on Wednesday.

    At the same time, Francois Heisbourg, a political scientist at the Foundation for Strategic Research in Paris, suggested that Paris is "blunt rather than hardliners," and the French government has "no time to spend on the UK’s hesitations."

    A senior EU official also told Bloomberg that taking into account the history of relations between the two nations, France now acts pragmatically and rationally when it comes to dealing with London.

    Related:

    Drifting Apart? Former UK Diplomat Warns of Cooler Post-Brexit London-Paris Ties
    Macron: 'Pragmatism Will Determine Our New Relationship' With Post-Brexit UK
    French President Macron Hopes Brexit Talks to Start as Soon as Possible
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    Brexit, business, talks, European Union, Emmanuel Macron, United Kingdom, France
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