British politicians have lied to the people about Brexit: French finance minister Bruno Le Maire

On Thursday, French finance minister Bruno Le Maire lashed out at pro-Brexit politicians in the United Kingdom and claimed they had deceived the public in the run-up to the 2016 referendum, according to several media reports.

File image of French finance minister Bruno le Maire. Reuters

File image of French finance minister Bruno Le Maire. Reuters

"I think many British politicians have been liars and lied to British people by explaining that it was simple to go out of the European Union without having strong negative consequences on the current daily life of the British people," Maire said at the Women's Forum in Paris, according to a report by CNBC.

Dubbing Brexit a "historical mistake", he added: "Now you are before the truth and the truth is that going out of the European Union, going out of the (EU's) single market, going out of one of the most important economic markets of the world is a mistake with very strong negative consequences."

According to a report in Bloomberg, Maire added that he expects that the UK may want to rejoin the European Union within two decades. “My deep conviction is that in maybe 10 to 15 years there might be a new referendum, when the British people will realize that this is in their interests,” he added, according to the report.

Maire's remarks come in the aftermath of British prime minister Theresa May suffering a huge blow on Thursday as Dominic Raab quit as her Brexit secretary, saying he "must resign" over the proposed EU withdrawal agreement. "I cannot reconcile the terms of the proposed deal with the promises we made to the country in our manifesto," he said in his resignation letter, published on his Twitter account.

On Wednesday, May won the backing of her senior ministers for a draft European Union divorce dealm more than two years after the United Kingdom voted in a referendum to leave the EU. May told reporters outside her Downing Street residence she won over her divided Cabinet, which includes some senior Brexiteers.

"The collective decision of Cabinet was that the government should agree the draft withdrawal agreement and the outline political declaration," she said, after a five-hour meeting. Speaking over protesters shouting anti-Brexit slogans from the end of the street, she said the deal, 585 pages long, was the best that could be negotiated. "When you strip away the detail, the choice before us was clear: this deal, which delivers on the vote of the referendum, which brings back control of our money laws and borders, ends free movement, protects jobs security and our Union; or leave with no deal; or no Brexit at all," she said.

With inputs from Reuters


Updated Date: Nov 15, 2018 19:53 PM

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