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Opinion
Lionel Laurent

Brexit Threats in Wartime Are Doubly Wrong

UK-EU relations will never be easy. But they should be better than this.

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson and French President Emmanuel Macron 

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson and French President Emmanuel Macron 

Photographer: CHRISTOPHER FURLONG/AFP

Of the many diplomatic spats and snubs that summarize the dismal relations between the UK and its historic continental frenemy of France, one phrase sticks in the mind: “Prenez un grip, and donnez-moi un break.” 

The patronizing put-down by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, delivered in purposely poor franglais, was aimed squarely at a furious Emmanuel Macron after the September announcement of a new security partnership between the Brits, the U.S., and Australia known as AUKUS that cut out France, which in the process also lost a deal to sell a dozen submarines to Canberra.