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French president Francois Hollande said the United Kingdom had to suffer the repercussions of its decision to leave the European Union to maintain the fundamental principles of the institution, according to the Financial Times.
"The U.K. has decided to do a Brexit … Well, then we must go all the way through the the U.K.'s willingness to leave the EU. We have to have this firmness," Hollande said, adding that failure to do so would result in a situation where other EU countries would be tempted to follow suit, the FT reported.
"There must be a threat, there must be a risk, there must be a price," Hollande asserted, according to the report.
The full FT story can be read here.
Hollande's comments followed British prime minister Theresa May saying in a speech during the Conservative party's annual conference earlier this week that the U.K. would leave the EU by 2019. May also said that the U.K. would become a "fully independent, sovereign" country, suggesting that a "hard" Brexit was to be expected.
Hollande's reported comments followed similar sentiments from German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who according to media reports said on Thursday that the U.K. must accept the EU's four principles of freedom of goods, services, capital and people, if it wanted unrestricted access to the continent's market.