Emmanuel Macron toasts Charles at meeting 'despite Brexit'

Don’t mention the B word! Emmanuel Macron toasts Charles with hopes for France and Britain working together in the future ‘despite Brexit’ – a day after meeting Keir Starmer in bid to drag UK back into EU’s clutches

  • Charles and Camilla were guests of honour at a dinner hosted by Macron tonight

During Prince Charles’s Paris visit, Emmanuel Macron toasted to France and the UK’s future endeavours ‘despite Brexit’ – just a day after he met with Keir Starmer over ‘reversing’ it.

Charles and Queen Camilla were guests of honour at a black tie dinner hosted by Macron in the Palace of Versailles’ Hall of Mirrors tonight. 

The royal couple are visiting Paris and Bordeaux, six months after the trip had to be rescheduled because of widespread rioting across France. 

During the dinner, Macron described Charles’ visit as a ‘tribute to our past… and guarantee of the future’.

But in a toast, Macron said: ‘Despite Brexit and because our ties are so old, I know that we will continue to write together part of our continent’s history.’

King Charles III and French President Emmanuel Macron attending the State Banquet at the Palace of Versailles, Paris, during the state visit to France

The comment regarding Brexit comes just a day after he met with Keir Starmer over ‘reversing’ it

More than 150 guests were invited to the banquet at the sumptuous palace, including actor Hugh Grant, rock star Mick Jagger, French billionaire Bernard Arnault and former Arsenal football coach Arsene Wenger. 

The mention of Brexit comes a day after Macron met with Labour leader Starmer in the Elysee Palace in Paris.

Starmer’s visit came amid a growing row at home over the Labour leader’s plans to alter the UK’s relationship with the EU.

READ MORE: How would France and Germany’s plan to reverse Brexit work? Plot would see Britain adopt the ‘Norway-model’ of EU relations – with return of free movement, payments to Brussels, and rule by bloc’s judges 

And released on the same day as his Paris visit was a new Franco-German plan for differing layers of EU membership – which included a direct offer for Britain to one day sign back up as an ‘associate’ member. 

A 60-page paper suggests ‘even the UK’ could return as part of an ‘outer tier’ of membership.

The report, commissioned by the French and German governments, envisages four levels of European integration with an ‘inner circle’ of Eurozone nations at its centre.

Britain is touted as a possible future member of the third tier, which would be based on a Norway-style relationship with Brussels.

The proposals state that ‘associate’ members would include those countries that currently form the European Economic Area – Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway – as well as Switzerland. 

These countries would not be bound to the EU’s mantra of ‘ever closer union’ and so would not be expected to pursue further integration with the bloc. 

A new report, commissioned by the French and German governments, envisages four levels of European integration with an ‘inner circle’ of Eurozone nations at its centre

They would also not participate in deeper political integration in areas such as justice or home affairs.

But, these countries would all be members of the EU’s single market, which would likely see the return of free movement if Britain were to sign up to ‘associate’ status. 

The UK has already looked at a ‘Norway-style’ relationship, as during the Brexit battles at Westminster – prior to the UK’s official departure from the EU – there were a number of advocates of that style of relationship with the EU among MPs.

The other three tiers of EU integration being proposed in the French-German plans are an ‘inner circle’, a tier for current EU member states, and a loose outer tier made up of countries signed up to the European Political Community. 

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