Macron could face new rival as Barnier refuses to rule out running for French President

Michael Barnier discusses plans for future in French politics

Michel Barnier told France24 that he plans to remain an active politician in French politics following the completion of the Brexit negotiations. He added that plans to get involved in within France’s political scene but will wait to see where he can be most useful.

France 24’s Catherine Nicholson asked: “Are you planning a run at the French Presidency?”

Mr Barnier replied: “I plan to remain what I am which is an active and invested politician.

“For as long as I have the energy, enthusiasm and outrage, I will get involved in this country that requires unity and needs all kinds of energies.

“I will see with my friends where exactly I can be the most useful.

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“But I cannot say more yet as I am still in Brussels to finish my mission with President von der Leyen.”

During the same interview, Mr Barnier also stated his work has not finished regarding the Brexit deal as he warned it is very likely he would interact with the UK again.

He warned the narrow window to approve the Brexit deal at the end of December meant there was still a lot of paperwork and ratification that needed to be done.

Ms Nicholson asked: “What are you doing now that the rollercoaster of Brexit negotiations are finished?”

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Mr Barnier said: “First of all my mission isn’t over, the agreements we reached with Boris Johnson came late, extremely late on Christmas Eve. 

“I presented the agreement to EU ambassadors on Christmas Day, this did not give parliament enough time to go through its usual ratification process. 

“The European Parliament is only now taking the time to examine this treaty to give it its approval.

“The president of the Commission asked me to stay by her side for a few weeks as a special advisor during this process, so I’m staying in Brussels while the deal is being ratified.”

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Mr Barnier also touched on the UK Government’s decision not to issue vias to touring musicians.

He said: “It was the UK’s decision, I’m not going to keep debating this with the British government. 

“We issued a proposal as early as March for an ambitious partnership on the free movement of our citizens.

“This was rejected in the name of British independence, of sovereignty and of the country’s new immigration policy which clashed with this proposal.”

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