“MPs have had their say. They said we should have a referendum. We put that to the British people. The British people have made their view known and that will be respected.”
French President Francois Hollande yesterday said talks on Britain’s exit must be concluded by 2019 – and that its decision to leave was irreversible, and the UK could not access the EU’s free trade bloc unless it accepted core principles including free movement of people.
“This choice means that Britain, once it leaves, cannot take part in European decisions. It will not be able to access the single market unless its accepts the four freedoms, all its regulation and budgetary solidarity,” Mr Hollande told a gathering of French ambassadors.
He said Mrs May had tough decisions to take and needed time but she could not drag her feet on starting the talks.
“It would neither be good for Britain not acceptable for Europe. For France, everything must be concluded by 2019,” said Mr Hollande.