Britain cannot have the best of both worlds when it comes to trade outside of the EU, French Agriculture Minister Stephane Le Foll has claimed.
Mr Le Foll, who is also the French Government’s spokesman, made the comments before he was due to meet the British Secretary of State, Andrea Leadsom, in London.
“You cannot say when exiting the EU you will keep all the advantages but leave behind anything that does not suit you," he said. "It is a choice which results in losing certain advantages which could be taken for granted."
The remarks came as Mrs Leadsom told the Efra select committee she was ‘ready for the fight’ with her French counterpart if France refused to take British food imports after the UK leaves the EU.
Mrs Leadsom has already been snubbed by Mr Le Foll, who refused to invite her to discuss the future of the CAP with 19 other agriculture Ministers in September.
He has since reiterated his promise not to speak to Mrs Leadsom about the CAP and said Britain should leave the EU before the next round of reforms.
But Mr Le Foll did add France would continue to work with Britain on agricultural issues, saying: “We have agricultural and agro-industrial relations around which we must, of course, continue to share and discuss.”
This conciliatory tone was more in line with the approach of other UK ministers to the Brexit talks.
Business Secretary Greg Clark said last weekend negotiations should be about ‘finding common ground’ and conducted in a ‘civilised’ way.
He also hinted the Government is looking for access to the single market ‘without tariffs or bureaucratic impediments’ on a sector-by-sector basis.