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Brexit was based on 'lies' but should send 'alarm signal' to EU, says Emmanuel Macron
1 February 2020, 06:46
Emmanuel Macron has slammed the Leave campaign, claiming it was based on "lies, exaggerations and simplifications".
The French President took the thinly veiled swipe at Boris Johnson, who led the Vote Leave campaign in 2016.
On the night the UK left the bloc, Mr Macron said Brexit was an "alarm signal" which should be heard across the EU.
He said: "At midnight, for the first time in 70 years, a country will leave the European Union.
"It is a historic alarm signal that must be heard in each of our countries."
President Macron said France had always respected the decision taken by the British people in the 2016 referendum.
But he restated his belief that much the referendum campaign was "based on lies, exaggerations, simplifications, cheques that were promised and will never be delivered".
The French president, who said he would visit the UK soon, has repeatedly called for the EU to reform.
He said it should be "more sovereign, more democratic, closer to our citizens" so that "the desire to leave Europe will never again be the response to difficulties today".
He also sought to reassure French citizens living in the UK that there rights will be "maintained, preserved, defended".
Of British people living in France, he said "tomorrow things won't change".