04:02 GMT +321 August 2019
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    Macron Says EU Cannot Be Held Hostage to Brexit Crisis in UK

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    PARIS (Sputnik) - The European Union cannot be held hostage to the political crisis in the United Kingdom for a long time, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday during his joint press conference with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar.

    "Smooth functioning of the European Union and the common market must be our priority. The European Union can't be a long-term hostage to the political crisis in Britain," Macron said.

    The French leader also stated that it was necessary to build new relations with the United Kingdom that would remain a key ally and a "good friend".

    "However, we can't spend the coming months settling the terms of our divorce," the French president said.

    Macron and Varadkar met during the Irish prime minister's visit to Paris. The two politicians discussed Brexit, especially no-deal option.

    The meeting came after the House of Commons rejected Theresa May's Brexit withdrawal plan several times. The United Kingdom was to leave the European Union Brussels on March 29, as initially agreed but failed to do so without a proper "divorce" plan. The European Union set Britain an April 12 deadline to present new Brexit conditions. If British parliamentarians fail to agree on a plan, London will have to leave the bloc without a deal.

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