Macron Welcomes Theresa May At Elysee Palace

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Macron Welcomes Theresa May At Elysee Palace

French President Emmanuel Macron is urging Qatar and its rival neighbors to talk directly, to defuse their tensions over alleged terrorism financing, and said Wednesday he will step up diplomatic discussions with Gulf leaders in the coming days.

(EurActiv) - French President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday (13 June) the door was "always open" for Britain to remain in the European Union despite Prime Minister Theresa May saying Brexit talks would begin next week.

Making her first foreign visit since last Thursday's election when May saw her Conservatives' slim majority disappear after what several sources called "an terrible campaign", May was more upbeat after winning a stay of execution from her party.

Macron said internet companies would be asked to do more to remove content promoting terrorism, access to encrypted content on online messaging systems would be widened, and co-operation with the United States on online content would be improved.

On whether the terms of Brexit would now change, the Prime Minister said only: "I think there is a unity of objective among people in the United Kingdom".

"The British government has said we will stay with the Brexit".

With Britain entering a sixth day of political limbo as May is yet to seal a deal to prop up her minority government and faces calls to soften her stance on Brexit, May said the timetable for Brexit negotiations remained on course with talks due to start next week.

The pair were later due to watch the France v England football friendly worldwide at the Stade de France, where crowds are expected to sing God Save The Queen and observe a minute's silence in honour of the victims of recent terror attacks in the UK. "But if they wanted to change their decision, of course, they would find open doors". He said that he door remained open and that it would be hard to return once the United Kingdom had left.

May said the process would lead to "an arrangement for Brexit which will be the interests of the United Kingdom and the remaining 27 members of the European Union".

Speaking ahead of her visit, Mrs May said she and the president were determined to ensure the internet could not be used as a safe space for terrorists and criminals.

The campaign includes exploring the possibility of legal penalties against tech companies if they fail to take the necessary action to remove unacceptable content, May said.

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