July 27, 2021

Emmanuel Macron asks Boris Johnson to respect the “word given” in the context of Brexit

French President Emmanuel Macron proposed to Boris Johnson on Saturday June 12 a “Re-engagement” in relations between France and Great Britain if the British Prime Minister commits to respect the Brexit agreements reached with the European Union, the Elysee said, confirming information from Reuters. The bilateral meeting took place, in English, on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Carbis Bay, Cornwall. The French president used the term « reset ».

On the occasion of this meeting, Mr. Macron told the British Prime Minister that their two countries had “A common vision and common interests regarding major global issues”.

“The President of the Republic said he was ready to initiate a “reset” Franco-British relations ”, said the Elysee. « [Il] however strongly stressed that this re-engagement required the British to respect the word given to Europeans and the framework defined by the Brexit agreements ”, against a backdrop of tensions in Northern Ireland.

Relations between the EU and Great Britain have been strained since Brexit became fully effective earlier this year, with Europeans blaming the British for not fully respecting the terms of the hard-won deals regarding both the conditions of the divorce itself and the new relationships.

Emmanuel Macron was one of the most explicit criticisms of the attitude of the British government, reproaching it again Thursday for a lack of “Serious”, while insisting that “Nothing is renegotiable, everything is applicable”.

Read the story: Brexit, a long and difficult separation

Northern Irish fishing and protocol

Tensions between the EU and Great Britain have focused on two points in recent months: fishing, which concerns France in particular, and the Northern Irish protocol, which is supposed to regulate trade between this province and the United Kingdom. rest of the UK to avoid re-establishing a physical border on the island of Ireland.

The Northern Ireland dossier overshadows the G7 summit scheduled until Sunday in the south-west of England, where the leaders of the great powers and the EU intend to offer the image of a united front eager to revitalize multilateralism in order to promote post-pandemic recovery and fight against global warming.

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London accuses Brussels of adopting a “Too purist approach” as to the application of new specific customs provisions in Northern Ireland, contained in the “Northern Irish protocol”, bitterly negotiated as part of Brexit.

By keeping Northern Ireland in the European customs union and single market, these measures are a source of tension in the British province, having even caused violent clashes at the beginning of April. Discussions were held in London on Wednesday, without allowing progress, the EU indicating that it would not hesitate to take retaliatory measures if London refused to implement the provisions of the protocol.

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Le Monde with AFP and Reuters