January 8, 2019 / 9:41 AM / 15 days ago

France says no discussion with Britain on pushing back Brexit

FILE PHOTO: Nathalie Loiseau, French Minister attached to the Foreign Affairs Minister, attends the questions to the government session at the National Assembly in Paris, June 13, 2018. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - French and British leaders did not discuss extending the “Article 50” process for Britain’s exit from the European Union when they spoke last week, France’s Europe Minister Nathalie Loiseau said on Tuesday.

Loiseau also told reporters that the European Union did not want to bind Britain indefinitely to a “backstop” mechanism on Northern Ireland’s land border with the European Union but said there would be no reopening of the EU-Britain exit accord.

Asked about giving more political assurances to Britain to help the deal win the backing of the British parliament, Loiseau said: “There is nothing more we can do. The withdrawal agreement is indeed a good agreement ... we should stick to it.”

Reporting by Robin Emmott; editing by Philip Blenkinsop

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