James Slack, John Stevens and Jason Groves — Daily Mail June 30, 2016
France last night signalled the EU could strike a deal with Britain on immigration.
In a major boost for hopes of a smooth exit for the UK, finance minister Michel Sapin said there would be no ‘red lines’ in talks over the single market.
His declaration of flexibility was backed by Finland’s deputy PM. The first signs of a crack in the EU’s united front came as stock markets rallied and fears of a post-Brexit economic slump eased.
Mr Sapin’s remarks raised hopes of a new British prime minister being able to negotiate continued access to the single market while also stemming the flow of EU arrivals. On another extraordinary day of Brexit fallout:
- France said Britain’s border deal at Calais would stay in place;
- The FTSE 100 rose again, making up all the losses it suffered after last week’s referendum;
- Theresa May and Boris Johnson prepared to launch their Tory leadership campaigns today;
- Labour endured a fourth day of civil war with Angela Eagle set to challenge Jeremy Corbyn today for the leadership;
- A pro-Remain minister was accused of being drunk by a fellow MP.
Mrs May will pledge there can be no turning back on Brexit and the wishes of the British public must be implemented in full, including curbs on migrants. She will appoint a Eurosceptic MP as a cabinet minister for Brexit.
Mrs May and Mr Johnson, who will run on the slogan Back Boris 2016, are preparing for a nine-week fight to the bitter end. Yesterday, the Home Secretary refused to cut any deal with her fierce rival.
The breakthrough on migrant curbs came in a BBC2 Newsnight interview with Mr Sapin.
Previously, EU leaders had said Britain would only get a post-Brexit trade if it continued to allow unfettered migration.
But, asked if freedom of movement would be a non-negotiable red line, Mr Sapin replied: ‘Everything will be on the table because Britain will make proposals, and we will negotiate all these aspects with a desire to come to an agreement.
‘Britain won’t be in the same position as it was beforehand. Things will change. Things have already changed. We return to zero. As we say in French: a clean slate.