Boris Johnson lays on charm offensive with Macron after AUKUS ‘stab in the back’ claims
Emmanuel Macron 'angry' over AUKUS deal says Allen
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Britain’s Prime Minister has responded to bitter comments made by officials on the other side of the Channel by championing the UK’s “proud” relationship with France. Speaking to the Sun after boarding an RAF Voyager aircraft bound for the UN’s conference in New York, Boris Johnson, 57, laid on the charm in a bid to appease the French.
The Prime Minister told the tabloid: “We are very, very proud of our relationship with France and it is of huge importance to this country.
“It’s a very friendly relationship – and entente cordial – that goes back a century or more and it absolutely vital for us.
“Our love of France is ineradicable and what I would say is this AUKUS deal… is not meant to be exclusionary, it is not something I don’t think anyone needs to work about and particularly not our French friends.”
While Mr Johnson implicitly referred to the Anglo-French Great War pact of 1904, he also highlighted how the two countries maintain a very special relationship.
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“I don’t know how many of you know this but there is a UK/France nuclear simulated testing programme we have: we test nuclear explosions together,” he said.
The Prime Minister’s comments come after French officials decided to ramp up the war of words against Britain.
Last week, French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said the AUKUS submarine deal felt like a “stab in the back.”
France’s Europe Minister Clément Beaune also claimed the UK was now subordinating itself to the USA.
Mr Beaune said: “Our British friends explained to us that they were leaving the EU to create Global Britain.
“As you can see, it is a return to the American fold and accepting a form of vassal status.”
He added: “Global Britain seems to be more about [being] a junior partner of the UK than working with different allies.”
But Mr Johnson will hope to iron out French tensions with Brexit Britain in the coming days.
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The Prime Minister touched down at an airport in New York late last night.
Reports suggest Boris will use the UN meeting to push ahead with his green agenda.
The PM will host further discussions in November at the UN’s climate change conference, dubbed COP26, in Scotland’s largest city Glasgow.
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