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Macron, Merkel to hold bilateral ahead of last European Council before Brexit deadline


Macron, Merkel to hold bilateral ahead of last European Council before Brexit deadline

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Photo: AP

France’s Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will hold bilateral talks at the Elysee in Paris today ahead of tomorrow’s crucial European Council Summit.

Given that the UK is consistently found within the top five trading partners for France and Germany, both countries would face serious economic consequences should a no-deal Brexit come to pass. Indeed, studies show that in the event of a no-deal Brexit, the total value of French exports could fall by some $3 billion, while Germany could lose 290,000 jobs across the auto, chemical, pharmaceutical and petroleum sectors.

As such, Macron and Merkel will discuss how to soften the blow of a potential no-deal Brexit. Increasing bilateral ties to complement pre-existing, collaborative efforts on industry, defence and security issues will likely be a point of emphasis. Above all, though, Paris and Berlin still seek to avoid the no-deal scenario with a deal that is as mutually beneficial as possible.

Europe’s two most powerful leaders must also discuss their strategy in persuading Boris Johnson to agree to a Brexit extension at tomorrow’s summit. Expect the Benn Act—recently passed British legislation requiring the prime minister to request a three-month Brexit delay, should he fail to secure an adequate deal by October 19—to bolster their position.

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