Anglo-French War Part XXXII

·2-min read
 (West End Final)
(West End Final)

The UK-France relationship has not always been characterised by bonhomie. For example, the Wikipedia page for ‘Anglo-French Wars’ lists 29 such instances between 1109 and 1815.

Yet today, Britain and France share an extraordinarily close defence and security partnership, bulwarked by the 2010 Lancaster House treaties.

Our two nations have agreed to work collaborate on cyber security, data exchange and counter-terrorism.

And in June this year, the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth spent several days training with French flagship Charles de Gaulle, in a grand display of how the two navies could work together on future operations and carry forward the Anglo-French Combined Joint Expeditionary Force.

However, Anglo-French relations at present could be accurately described as having plumbed new modern-day depths.

Last month, it was the Aukus nuclear submarine deal, following which the French recalled their ambassadors to the US and Australia but not to Britain, a hilarious sleight within a strop that deserved to be set to music.

Those poor relations manifested themselves today as French fishermen gave Britain 24 hours to resolve a Brexit fishing licenses row or else they have threatened to launch blockades to throttle the flow of whatever goods still move across the Channel.

It is the latest in a rapid decaying of relations between our two countries since the glory days of Cameron-Sarkozy, driven by Brexit, migration and a not totally unfounded view in Paris that Downing Street cannot be trusted.

Britain’s greatest strength is not our economy or armed forces but our alliances. Brexit can trash the former and we’ll all just be a bit less well-off. Trash the latter, and who knows where that leads.

In the comment pages, Rupert Harrison predicts that, though it might not look like it now, our shortages problems may be sorted by spring.

Meanwhile, Susie Butter, fond of gravity and with a penchant for getting carsick in cabs, says the billionaire Space Race bros are out of control.

And finally, stop whatever you’re doing while not giving this newsletter your undivided attention and watch Reveller Editor David Ellis alongside Audience Editor (and real-life vegan) Sami Herbert do the brand new McDonald’s McPlant burger taste test.

No spoilers - you have to watch the epic video - but the words ‘it tasted like papier mache’ don’t sound hugely appetising.

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