Macron: Brexit campaign based on ‘lies’ but EU must reform

French President Emmanuel Macron | Ludovic Marin | AFP via Getty Images

Macron: Brexit campaign based on ‘lies’ but EU must reform

As UK’s departure approaches, French president says Continent needs ‘more Europe.’


1/31/20, 8:15 PM CET

Updated 1/31/20, 8:23 PM CET

PARIS — With Britain hours away from leaving the EU, French President Emmanuel Macron blasted the Brexit campaign as based on lies but said the bloc had to learn from the U.K.’s decision to leave.

In a televised address on Friday evening, Macron said the EU had to undertake profound reforms to become more sovereign, more democratic and closer to its citizens.

“The Brexit campaign was made up of lies, exaggerations and simplifications, of cheques that were promised and will never arrive. We must remember at every moment what lies can lead to in our democracies,” Macron said.

“But we must also draw very concrete lessons for ourselves. I believe very deeply that this Brexit became possible, and will take place in a few hours, because too often we turned Europe into a scapegoat for our own difficulties, also because we did not change our Europe enough,” he said.

“Faced with China and the United States, to defend our interests, we need more Europe,” he said. “To succeed with the climate transition, we need to do it at the European level. To succeed in feeding ourselves, to succeed in  facing up to the great migratory, digital and technological transformations, we need more Europe.”

Addressing negotiations on the future relationship between Britain and the EU,

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