The writer is the British Ambassador to France in 2012-16 and the author of “Hard Choices: What Britain Did Next”.
The political relationship between Britain and France is the worst I have known as a diplomat in 40 years. According to a recent Harris poll, this sour mood is affecting French opinion, with only 40% of respondents considering Britain as an ally, far more than 74% in Italy and 73% in Germany and Spain. It is below.
This is in contrast to the mood of 10 years ago when David Cameron and Nicolas Sarkozy agreed. New defense partnershipThe French stared at the London Olympics with jealous praise and enthusiastically welcomed the Queen on an official visit in 2014.
Brexit has marked a turning point. Britain was widely seen in France as not only leaving the EU but also turning its back on its neighbors in Europe. This is a recognition strengthened by the ongoing efforts of the Johnson government to ignore Europe, which defines a new role in the world.Brexit aftershocks from turmoil at Channel Harbor Overfishing spats Peripheral license Channel Islands.. There was always friction after Brexit. But this is much more serious. It is a fundamental collapse of trust between the two governments, especially between Emmanuel Macron and Boris Johnson.
The French remained shocked by the British threat of rebelling against the Northern Ireland Protocol. Macron was indignant at seeing Johnson in a public line with him at the G7 Summit in Cornwall. Sausage export To Northern Ireland in an attempt to shift responsibility for the difficulty of implementing the Protocol.Tragic Death of 27 immigrants The channel last November should have been the moment to adjust the difference.Instead, Johnson Letter to Macron Full of suggestions he knew he couldn’t accept the French, he announced it before it reached Macron’s desk.
The processing of the Aukus submarine transaction with Australia was the last straw.France to lose this Large contract It will always be difficult to reach the United States and the United Kingdom. However, the way of the announcement made Macron feel humiliated.Joe Biden publicly accepted that it was Clumsy processing We have started a full-scale damage repair exercise. Johnson did the opposite, exacerbating the situation with the ridicule of the French president’s boys.
No 10 then New strategic alliance The reaction in Paris, along with France in the British press, was a glacier.
The responsibility for this disappointment is not entirely in London. Macron and his ministers are also provocative and pose irresponsible threats, such as cutting off power to the Channel Islands. However, in the past, UK-France cooperation in areas such as business, culture and sports was largely unaffected by political turmoil backed by a close network of relationships. Harris Paul reminds us that this is not a matter of course. The French are not hostile to Britain, they are simply indifferent. The French media pays little attention to what’s happening in Britain, except for Antic’s embarrassed coverage in Westminster. In the French presidential campaign, none of the candidates want to reset their relationship with London. The real risk is that the two countries will move apart. Therefore, it is very stupid and short-sighted that Britain refuses the opportunity for the next generation of British and French youth to live and study in each other’s country. Exchange of Erasmus Program..
Since the UK left the EU, bilateral relations with its European neighbors have never been more important.In him speech To the European Parliament this month, Macron told the British government that the condition of future friendship was to support the word. Perhaps a message to the next Prime Minister?
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