Boris Johnson ‘wants a new strategic alliance with Emmanuel Macron after next year’s French presidential election’ as PM tries to restore relations after months of bitter feuds
- Prime Minister Boris Johnson aims for new ‘entente cordiale’ with France
- Prime Minister wants to patch up relations with Emmanuel Macron after series of quarrels
- Improvements in relations will probably have to wait until after the French elections in April
Boris Johnson wants to strike a new and improved ‘entente cordiale’ with France as he looks to restore relations with Emmanuel Macron after a series of damaging public squabbles.
The prime minister is reportedly aiming for a new strategic alliance that goes far beyond patching up relations with Paris.
Relations between Britain and France have become increasingly tense in recent months following major disagreements over Brexit, the crossing of migrant channels and the AUKUS defense pact.
Boris Johnson wants to strike a new and improved ‘entente cordiale’ with France as he seeks to restore relations with Emmanuel Macron after a series of damaging public squabbles
The prime minister is reportedly aiming for a new strategic alliance that goes far beyond patching up relations with Paris
British officials are said to be working on the terms of a new agreement between the two countries.
It would be broader and more far-reaching than any previous deal between London and Paris.
It is thought that the pact could include joint cooperation to expand influence in the Indo-Pacific region and cooperation on nuclear testing.
The desire to go beyond a simple reset of the relationship would be shared in both capitals.
A senior Downing Street figure told The Sunday Times: ‘Getting the band back together, kissing and making up doesn’t seem appropriate for the time we are in.
‘The question we ask is: what is the highest ambition we can have here and how quickly can we do that?’
However, the UK has accepted that any new deal will have to wait until after France’s presidential election in April next year as candidates bash Britain for domestic gain.
A senior official told the paper: “We wondered right up to the point of the G20 whether rapprochement would work for Macron.
“Obviously this isn’t something we can do on this side of the presidential election.”
The UK and France have been at odds over a range of issues in recent months.
The ramifications of the Brexit divorce continue amid an ongoing stalemate over fishing rights.
Meanwhile, the UK has demanded from France to do more to tackle the record number of migrants making the dangerous crossing across the English Channel.
Relations were also strained by the AUKUS Defense Pact, in which the UK and US agreed to help Australia secure its own fleet of nuclear-powered submarines.
That pact meant Canberra scrapped a previous deal with France for a fleet of diesel-electric submarines.