GB News panel savages Macron tantrum on Aukus deal
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Nigel Farage suggested the UK may be on the verge of a “confrontation” with France after Emmanuel Macron criticised the exclusion of his country from the so-called AUKUS deal. France’s coffers were due to benefit from an agreement with Australia but Canberra ultimately pulled out in exchange for a new deal with London and Washington for a series of new nuclear submarines. GB News panellist Paul Embery suggested the UK should let Mr Macron proceed with his “fit of pique” before resuming diplomatic relations with Paris.
Mr Farage said: “I just sense we’re heading towards a confrontation with France at some point in the next couple of months.
“And the question is what do we do?”
Mr Embery replied: “I think painstaking diplomacy. I know it’s a favourite pastime in Britain to bash the French and vice versa. It’s all a good-natured sport and I guess we’re all party to it from time to time.
“I can understand to a certain degree their annoyance at what happened in terms of the Aukus deal, the fact that they only got notice a week before the deal was signed.
“I can imagine, if the boot was on the other foot, we might have been slightly irritated if France had sone something like this.”
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He continued: “I don’t think Boris Johnson’s rather contemptuous and patronising use of the French language really helped the situation.
“When you’ve got a close international partner, they have some justification in feeling the way they do.
“You have to be diplomatic about it and try to bring things back together. But they’re throwing their toys out of the pram, Macron, and the French.
“Equally, it’s in their interest as well to maintain a harmonious relationship. So let them have their little fit of pique and try to get things back to normal.”
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Mr Farage added: “It’s going to be quite interesting. And, of course, there’ll be no toys for Christmas because the French have indeed thrown them all out the pram.”
US President Joe Biden and President Macron sought to mend ties following news of the Aukus deal, with France agreeing to send its ambassador back to Washington and the White House acknowledging it erred in brokering a deal for Australia to buy US instead of French submarines without consulting Paris.
President Biden and Mr Macron agreed to launch in-depth consultations to rebuild trust and to meet in Europe at the end of October.
The pair said Washington had committed to stepping up “support to counter-terrorism operations in the Sahel conducted by European states” which US officials suggested meant a continuation of logistical support rather than deploying U.S. special forces.
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Mr Biden’s call to President Macron was an attempt to mend fences after France accused the United States of stabbing it in the back when Australia ditched a $40 billion contract for conventional French submarines and opted for nuclear-powered submarines to be built with US and British technology instead.
Outraged by the U.S., British and Australian deal, France recalled its ambassadors from Washington and Canberra.
“The two leaders agreed that the situation would have benefited from open consultations among allies on matters of strategic interest to France and our European partners,” the joint US and French statement said.
“President Biden conveyed his ongoing commitment in that regard.”
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