Macron Flexes His Muscle in London

Macron Set to Loan 950-Year-Old Artifact to U.K.

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The weakness of British Prime Minister Theresa May's hand as she enters the crucial phase of Brexit negotiations is evident in the diplomatic coup her team is trumpeting before a meeting with Emmanuel Macron today -- Britain gets to borrow a 950-year-old wall hanging.

In contrast, the French president -- on his first official visit to the U.K. -- secures 45 million pounds ($62 million) of British funding for border checks in the French port of Calais, military support for French operations in Africa and a commitment to join EU combat forces.

The juxtaposition shows how little leverage May has -- and how much she needs Macron to soften his line on Brexit. France has been one of the biggest obstacles to May's goal of retaining access to the bloc's markets.

Of course, the Bayeux tapestry will doubtless generate a lot of interest among British museum-goers. But the symbolism may go down better in Paris than in London -- the tapestry shows England's King Harold being killed in battle as nobles from what is now northern France conquer his country.

The Bayeux Tapestry is normally housed at a museum in northern France.
Source: Getty Images

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