France's environment minister suddenly quits live on air

EU's security must no longer depend on US – Macron

EU's security must no longer depend on US – Macron

Brexit, Macron said, "is a sovereign choice, which we must respect, but it can't come at the expense of the European Union's integrity".

He said he hadn't notified the president or the prime minister ahead of his radio announcement.

At a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Brussels last month, Mr Trump called on European countries to increase their defence spending to at least two per cent of their gross domestic product - a goal that many members, including Germany, do not yet meet.

"I don't want to lie to myself anymore", he said after being asked if he was happy about the government's environmental record.

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While Macron's call for more European defense cooperation may resonate with Germany it is not clear whether newer members of the bloc in Eastern Europe will go along. "The world is not doing enough", he said. Hulot was dismayed to see that a hunting lobbyist was allowed to take part despite not being invited, seeing this as a symbol of lobbyists' influence in French corridors of power.

Macron's office sought to attribute the resignation to the "frustration, even exhaustion" of a ministerial novice suddenly confronted with the slow-moving machinery of government.

The president also suffered a major political scandal this summer when a senior security aide was filmed manhandling protesters, and his poll ratings have slumped to their lowest-ever levels.

"I don't understand why he is stepping down when we had many successes in the first year that are to his credit", government spokesperson Benjamin Griveaux told the French broadcaster BFM TV, according to Reuters.

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But Hulot was frustrated by what he saw as a watering down of Macron's campaign pledges on the environment, such as cutting nuclear power contributions to electricity by 50 percent and boosting renewable energy.

He was widely reported to be close to quitting in February after media reports that the granddaughter of former French president Francois Mitterrand had accused him of rape in the 1990s.

On Monday, the cost of a hunting licence was cut in half - a final bitter pill for the vegetarian and animal rights campaigner, who faced accusations from fellow activists that he did not hold enough sway over government decisions. Meanwhile, French forces' operations to combat an Islamist uprising in West Africa, started under Macron's predecessor and made a priority by the 40-year old, have struggled to root out jihadists in Mali and neighbouring countries.

"I wished he had stayed", said Griveaux, praising Hulot for his work.

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They also insisted that Macron has pledged to ban glyphosate within three years, but they did not specify that MPs did not include the deadline in a law passed earlier this year.

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