Dear M. Hollande

Theresa May was warned by the French president, François Hollande, at their first meeting in Paris that the UK cannot expect access to the single market if it wants to put immigration controls on EU citizens.

At a joint press conference in the Élysée Palace, Hollande made it clear that the new British prime minister was facing a choice about whether to accept free movement of people in return for free trade.

Thank you for your kind proposal. We shall consider it in detail.

Although we would point out that we have already decided that we are not supplicants to join or be part of your club. It is now we deciding on the terms under which you have access to us.

17 thoughts on “Dear M. Hollande”

  1. Indeed. Has not the Chancellor already said that the aim is not to be members of the single market? The pols are using the carefully vague “access to” word.

  2. As Blue Eyes has said above, I don’t get this ‘access to’. Are they going to block all trade between the UK and the EU if we don’t allow Romainians to claim benefits?? I don’t think so. Other countries outside of the EU have ‘access to’ the single market. Until they actually state what they mean by ‘access to’ then it’s all meaningless bollocks.

  3. The Meissen Bison

    François Hollande’s handling of the press conference was courteous verging on conciliatory. The emphasis was on the strength of the Franco/British common relationship past and future.

    The relaxation of French demands for a speedy triggering of §50 and the intentionally loosely-defined concession on pre-negotiations (which is further than Angela Merkel went this week) must be good news.

    There are better sources of information on this than the dailies – especially the Grauniad, which would like to see the UK debagged and getting six of the best.

  4. Fascinating isn’t it? Just when you’re thinking a politician couldn’t be more stupid, you find they’re determined to go the extra kilometre

  5. I agree, the way this is being framed is going to make it unnecessarily tricky politically.

    What they are talking about is EU/UK Import tax negotiations.

  6. It would make, probably, no difference in any negotiations with Merkel, but I’m sure it would do our cause no harm if Theresa undid a top button or two in her tete a tetes with Hollande, notwithstanding her age.

  7. Somehow, I think that France is more in trouble economically than the UK so I’m not quite sure that it is in any position to dictate anything.

    I also think that companies like EDF are going to weigh in at some point…

    That said, if Meissen read it right, the reporting is probably slanted to be negative and the reality is quite different.

  8. The problem for the EU is that Hollande has an approval level of 12% and more than 60% of the French think that the EU is a bad thing. According to the idiots in the press, Hollande is going to try to punish the UK for Brexit so that he can strengthen his position –

    In reality it is far more likely that the EU will become even more unpopular as it is embraced by Hollande. The correct French response is to allow the UK full access without free movement and use that to undermine the EU superstate. If Hollande wasn’t a moron, he’d get that.

  9. The fat fucker spends 10k EUR of taxpayers money on haircuts a month. I hope May told him to foxtrot Oscar with extreme prejudice.

  10. Blue Eyes said: “Indeed. Has not the Chancellor already said that the aim is not to be members of the single market? The pols are using the carefully vague “access to” word.”

    When it comes to the single market you have to be careful in working out what people mean. ‘access to’ is often used to simply mean member. No idea why they do this but it does lead to confusion when others talk of access to the single market in a more plain sense of trading with it, rather than being a member.

    There is also more than one notion of the single market – the EU on its own or the EU and EFTA which make up the European Economic Area (and is sometimes called the internal market).

    This mess of terms is further fudged by whether you want to just talk of being in or out, or if you want to discriminate between the EU nations who are members of a comprehensive single market and the EFTA nations whose involvement in the single market is less comprehensive.

    I suspect Phillip Hammond views the single market as just the EU.

  11. Let them all in – but it’s now WE who get to decide whether we pay them benefits or not.

    Rather solves the problems does it not?

    I expect therefore, that there is some law against it even now; probably something to do with the ECHR.

  12. Let them all in – but it’s now WE who get to decide whether we pay them benefits or not.

    If you don’t mind, welfare recipients or not I’d rather our streets weren’t subject to Romanian Gypsy beggars sleeping on the curbs and begging outside Sainsbury’s or other foreign rapists, drug dealers or other ne’er-do-well’s.

    Let the buggers stay in their own countries and leach of their own kind, or better still the French, since François Hollande loves them so much.

  13. So – the *UK* can’t have access to the common market if the UK puts in place immigration controls for EU citizens.

    But the US can. Australia can. Russia and China can?

  14. @ Agammamon
    That is our punishment for daring to disagree with the EU Commission. All previous rebellions by voters have been overturned by another referendum (and another and another) until the discordant group has been bullied or cajoled to vote the “right” way. But Brexit means Brexit unless the post-Cameron government can be bullied and intimidated to kneel in submission before Juncker.
    As I said, I voted “Remain” but I am tempted to write to my MP offerring to pay him the cost of 649 steel reinforcing rods for him to hand out to MPs to support their spines (Douglas Carswell shouldn’t need one).

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