SALZBURG, Austria — French President Emmanuel Macron said those who pushed for the U.K. to leave the European Union “are liars” who ran away from the task after the vote was delivered.
Speaking to the press after a summit of EU leaders in Salzburg, Macron said Brexit was “the choice of the British people, a choice pushed by those who predicted easy solutions … they are liars, they left the next day so they didn’t have to manage it.”
He added that Brexit shows “it’s not so easy to leave the EU, it’s not without a cost, it’s not without consequences.”
“[EU chief negotiator] Michel Barnier has presented us many details in a very convincing way on how the [Irish] backstop is going to work … respecting citizens and companies while protecting borders and the integrity of the single market.”
He also poured cold water on U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May’s Chequers Brexit plan, saying it “is not acceptable.”
“It was a good and brave step by the prime minister [May],” Macron said. “But we all agreed on this today, the proposals in their current state are not acceptable, especially on the economic side of it.
“The Chequers plan cannot be take it or leave it.”
At the same summit, European Council President Donald Tusk also rejected the Chequers plan.
“While there are positive elements in the Chequers proposal, the suggested framework for economic cooperation will not work,” Tusk said at the closing news conference, “not least because it will risk undermining the single market.”