Mr Macron was accused of breaking “EU unity” as he completely split away from the EU majority pushing Britain into a lengthy Brexit delay. European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker was “absolutely furious” with the French President, a diplomatic source told Express.co.uk. The source said: “France went on its own and has broken EU unity, that really surprises us.”
Brexit will now be delayed until October 31 with a review to happen at the June 21 European Council summit.
Mrs May is said to believe this is a “pretty good outcome” as long as Brussels is lenient with the conditions imposed on Britain.
EU leaders were locked in a dinner meeting for six hours as they battled with Mr Macron’s bid to force through a short delay to the bloc’s Article 50 exit clause.
France were prepared to accept a no-deal divorce if it meant that Britain was prevented from meddling in EU decision-making.
Ahead of the agreement an aide to Mr Macron said: “We don’t want to sacrifice everything because there is a risk of no deal.
“No deal remains the default option.”
Mr Macron rejected a long extension, favoured by Mr Juncker and Donald Tusk, because he didn’t believe Mrs May could deliver cast-iron guarantees that Britain would show good faith as an EU member.
The source added: “We do not want to import Britain’s political crisis into the EU.
“A long extension without serious guarantees would not allow France to agree to it. That is not the case with the text that is on the table. The default position is that a dysfunctional EU is worse than no deal.”
An EU diplomat described the June review date was included as a “peace offering” to Mr Macron but in reality, the French President has been “defeated”.
The Brexit delay will still see Britain forced to hold European Parliament elections on May 23 as one of the guarantees demanded by Brussels.
Britain will be expected to leave the bloc by June 1 if the country fails to participate in the EU elections.
Malta’s prime minister Joseph Muscat described the compromise as “sensible”.
Writing on Twitter, he said: “A Brexit extension until October 31 is sensible since it gives time to UK to finally choose its way.
“A Brexit extension until October 31 is sensible since it gives time to UK to finally choose its way. The review in June will allow the European Council to take stock of the situation.”
For the EU, this is not the final Brexit delay with the favoured date amongst a majority of the bloc’s leaders being March 31, 2020.