Wednesday, 23 Jun 2021

Britons furious at France and Germany’s new Brexit deals plea ‘Treated us like the enemy!’

EU has 'relied on the UK and US for defence' says Longworth

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Ambassadors, ministers and their teams are reportedly holding behind-closed-doors talks to see if there is a way for the countries to strengthen ties with the UK following its departure from the EU. Governments in Paris, Berlin and Rome are interested in signing their own deals with Boris Johnson’s Government to open up more routes for added cooperation on matters relating to defence, according to The Guardian. But the latest developments come after Britain insisted it was not interested in forging closer security and foreign policy cooperation ties with the EU.

The UK completed its departure from the EU at the end of last year after singing an 11th-hour trade deal following nearly a year of tense and often bitter talks.

Prime Minister Mr Johnson has basked in Britain’s new-found sovereignty, insisting the country will thrive outside of the bloc.

Now the reports of France, Germany and Italy hoping for their own own post-Brexit agreements with Britain to boost defence cooperation has sparked a furious reaction from Britons.

Reacting to our initial story, one Express.co.uk reader raged: “Boris, tell them to defend themselves, we will sit and watch.

“Wasted enough British blood defending Europe, for them to treat us like the enemy. Hiss off.”

A second person fumed: “I seriously question why we should sign any agreement with the EU after all the hatred that as been directed at the UK.”

Another reader said: “We need to get ALL British troops out of Europe and shut all the bases there. Their defence is their problem.

“For decades the UK has spent billions bolstering Germany’s defences while Germany has spent billions getting manufactures to move production form the UK to Germany.”

A fourth person added: “Why ever would we put our forces’ lives on the line for this lot?!”

Last month, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian agreed to revive the annual meeting between French and UK defence and foreign ministers.

The last time the gathering took place was in Brittany in 2019.

Mr Le Drian said: “On many issues, we have congruent views, shared analysis or common interests.

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“We are neighbours. We cannot sit there immobile staring at one another.”

More than a decade ago in 2010, Britain and France signed the Lancaster House agreement comprising two treaties on defence and security, as well as nuclear cooperation.

These focused on growing cooperation and “sharing and pooling of materials and equipment including through mutual interdependence, the building of joint facilities, mutual access to each other’s defence markets, and industrial and technological co-operation.”

Later this month, Prime Minister Mr Johnson is set to come face-to-face with French President Emmanuel Macron at the G7 summit in Cornwall.

A private meeting between the two leaders have not been ruled out by Mr Macron’s team – despite the increasing Brexit tensions that currently exit between the two countries.

These tensions dramatically surged last month when the UK sent two warships to the Channel Islands after French fishing vessels blockaded a port as part of an ongoing row regarding access in British coastal waters.

The furious reaction was centred around frustrations over a delay in post-Brexit fishing licences.

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