Do the British want to become ‘vassal’ of Trump’s US? Macron taunts BoJo over no-deal Brexit
French President Emmanuel Macron has warned UK PM Boris Johnson that Britain, which considers itself a “great power,” could become a “junior partner” of Donald Trump’s America if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.
Ahead of their meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris on Thursday, Macron appeared to take a swipe at Johnson’s optimism around the perceived benefits of a UK-US trade deal post-Brexit.
(L) FILE PHOTO: Emmanuel Macron © Reuters / Philippe Wojazer (C) Boris Johnson © Reuters/ Pool (R) Donald Trump © Reuters / Bryan Woolston
He told reporters that the cost of a hard Brexit could not be offset by a trade agreement with the US, suggesting that the UK will be the main victim if they pursue a no-deal scenario. Macron claimed that Britain will end up being a client state of the US.
"... even if it were a strategic choice it would be at the cost of a historic vassalisation of Britain... I don’t think this is what Boris Johnson wants. I don’t think it is what the British people want."
The French president also insisted that Johnson’s plans to rip up the Irish backstop contained within the current Brexit deal was unworkable.
Macron explained that Johnson’s letter to EC President Donald Tusk on Monday suggested that the EU must choose between the “integrity of the single market” and abiding by the Good Friday Agreement.
“We won’t choose between the two. We won’t jeopardise peace in Ireland, that would be one of the consequences of dropping the so-called backstop,” Macron added.
It comes after the Republic of Ireland’s deputy prime minister, Simon Coveney, on Wednesday vowed that his country would not enter into bilateral talks on no-deal Brexit planning with the UK and be “steam-rolled” by red lines drawn by Johnson.