How did things get so bad between France and Britain? podcast | News

France and the UK have lengthy had an advanced relationship – however over the course of this previous yr, it’s appeared to succeed in a brand new low. A verbal spat that started when the UK prime minister, Boris Johnson, informed the French president, Emmanuel Macron, to “prenez un grip” and “donnez-moi un break” took a flip for the more serious after Macron privately known as Johnson “a clown”. As the previous French ambassador to the UK put it, relations at the moment are the worst they’ve been since Waterloo.

Over the weekend, after Britain’s Brexit minister, David Frost, resigned, the French authorities urged the UK to make use of his departure as a possibility to reset and rebuild belief with each France and the EU. And because the refugee disaster demonstrates, the stakes couldn’t be a lot greater. When 27 individuals drowned within the Channel in November, British and French officers have been all too swift to vocally solid blame on each other as a substitute of searching for constructive options.

However behind the scenes, are there causes to hope that diplomacy will prevail? Patrick Wintour, the Guardian’s diplomatic editor, and Angelique Chrisafis, the Guardian’s Paris correspondent, have been watching the connection unravel from reverse sides of the Channel. They inform Nosheen Iqbal that what appeared to begin as a rift over Brexit negotiations has grown right into a disaster with critical humanitarian implications.

French President Emmanuel Macron and UK prime minister Boris Johnson.

{Photograph}: Murdo MacLeod/The Guardian

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