• Reuters


French presidential candidate Nicolas Sarkozy said on Tuesday that if he wins in 2017 he will offer Britain a chance to reverse its Brexit vote by negotiating with Germany a new treaty for the European Union, the Financial Times reported.

Sarkozy said the new treaty would focus on reforming the passport-free Schengen Zone, restricting the European Commission’s prerogatives to a dozen, integrating the eurozone further and halting membership talks with Turkey.

Sarkozy said he would fly to Britain with a draft of the new EU treaty the day after the election.

“I would tell the British: ‘You’ve gone out, but we have a new treaty on the table, so you have an opportunity to vote again, but this time not on the old Europe, on the new Europe,’ ” the former president told business leaders in Paris. “‘Do you want to stay? If yes, so much the better, because I can’t accept to lose Europe’s second-largest economy while we are negotiating with Turkey over its EU membership. And if it’s no, then it’s a real no. You’re in or you’re out.’ “

Britain voted to leave the EU on June 23, and new Prime Minister Theresa May says the formal divorce notification will not be sent before the end of the year.

After the referendum, Sarkozy, a member of the conservative Republicans, had said he wanted a new EU treaty and the suspension of Turkey’s EU accession negotiations.

Sarkozy announced his candidacy for the April 2017 election in August, hoping to return as head of state after being unseated in 2012 by the now deeply unpopular Francois Hollande.

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