In an interview with The Business Insider, Alexandre Holroyd, secretary of the French parliament's Brexit mission, denied speculation that France is poised for a compromise so as to keep the UK from crashing out of the EU.
Although France was "committed" to clinching a deal, "we are not going to bargain 70 years of [European] integration on that deal, Holroyd stressed, adding that Paris will oppose a Brexit agreement which in "any way, shape, or form" compromises the integrity of the European single market.
Describing UK Theresa May's "Chequers blueprint as "a step in the right direction," Holroyd at the same time called for finding a "practically functional system which ensures from [France's] perspective that the long-term prospects of the single market aren't jeopardized."
His remarks came after French Europe Minister Nathalie Loiseau warned on Wednesday that Paris is not going to redefine its principles just because "the UK doesn't want to belong to the European Union anymore."
"We have described our priorities and they are not subject to negotiation," Loiseau underlined.
Earlier, she hinted that France is bracing for the possible absence of an EU-UK agreement on the conditions of Britain's exit from the bloc, even though "nobody wants it to happen."
May, for her part, admitted late last month that that the UK possibly crashing out of the EU will have harsh consequences but said that the government should "make a success" of the no-deal Brexit scenario, which she said "wouldn't be the end of the world."
The UK voted to leave the EU in a referendum in 2016. The Brexit negotiations officially started in June 2017 and are expected to be completed by the end of March 2019.