Emmanuel Macron invites Britain to join 'political European community' outside of the EU
The French President has called for a new group that maintains 'European core values'
French President Emmanuel Macron has invited Britain to join a political alliance outside of the EU.
Macron said he was in favour of a new type of "political European community" that would allow countries outside of the European Union to join "European core values."
Macron also reiterated at an EU event in Strasbourg that any steps to allow Ukraine to join the EU would require "in reality several years, and without doubt several decades."
During the meeting in the French city, he said: "This new European organisation would allow democratic European nations adhering to our core values to find a new space for political cooperation, and security.
"Joining it would not prejudge future membership of the European Union, and it would not be closed to those who have left the latter."
This comes as Boris Johnson spoke to Emmanuel Macron last week after Downing Street insisted there had not been a row between the two leaders.
In a phone call with Emmanuel Macron on Friday to congratulate the leader on his victory in last month’s French presidential elections, Mr Johnson is said to have made the comment while stressing that any final decision is for the Ukrainian government.
Mr Johnson posted a congratulatory message on Twitter on the day of Mr Macron’s re-election.
With Mr Macron no longer facing the challenge from the far-right and having to play to a domestic audience, commentators have suggested the UK will hope for a more constructive relationship with the Elysee Palace when dealing with issues such as post-Brexit fishing rights and migrants crossing the Channel in small boats.
Mr Johnson and Mr Macron agreed to “co-ordinate more closely on longer-term security and economic support for Ukraine”, according to a Downing Street spokeswoman, with the Prime Minister sharing “his conviction that Ukraine would win, supported with the right level of defensive military assistance”.