Aukus: French minister bemoans lack of trust in British alliance

The British-French alliance lacks trust, France’s EU affairs minister has said, citing Downing Street’s approach to the post-Brexit arrangements for Northern Ireland and the secretly negotiated defence agreement with the US and Australia.

Clément Beaune, a close ally of the French president, 에마뉘엘 마크롱, said that while the two problematic issues should not be mixed, together they highlighted the flaw in the relationship.

“We need to rebuild confidence, we need to discuss together – we are not in this context at the moment,” Beaune said, before a meeting of EU affairs ministers and the Brexit commissioner, Maroš Šefčovič, in Brussels.

During a visit to New York for the United Nations general assembly, Boris Johnson had insisted on Monday night that the alliance with Paris remained strong and “absolutely vital”, 첨가: “Our love of France is ineradicable.”

But a British-French defence meeting due to take place this week has been cancelled by Paris in the fallout over the Aukus defence pact, and there has not been a bilateral leaders’ summit for three years, despite attempts by Downing Street to organise one.

Beaune admitted there was a need to rebuild confidence in the relationship. On Brexit, he said the UK was not implementing the deals it agreed on fishing rights for EU boats nor on checks on goods travelling into Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK.

“They are not well implemented … they are not fully respected,”그는 말했다.

On last week’s surprise announcement of a defence agreement between the UK, Australia and the US, at an estimated cost to the French government of €56bn in a lost submarine contract with Canberra, Beaune lamented that it had been “hidden” from Paris by No 10.

“It is not a matter about the prime minister personally. I will not address comments about the prime minister himself. It is about a relationship between two governments two allies, two close partners, that will remain,”그는 말했다.

“But we see when we look at the Brexit agreements, that are not well implemented, that are not fully respected; we see it with the Aukus project, there were some hidden things. It’s not the best context to have trust between us but we will move on.”

Beaune doubled down on claims from Paris that the UK was the “fifth wheel” in the Aukus defence pact – and in a state of “vassalage” to the White House.

그는 말했다: “The key responsibility was on Australia, breaking the contracts, and in the US, probably putting pressure, and the UK has chosen after we offered a couple of times, including in the Brexit negotiations, repeatedly to have discussions on how we can organise our security or defence cooperation … it has been refused consistently by the UK.

“Whereas the UK has decided to go side by side with the US, 나는 생각한다, in a way which is, I said it clearly, kind of a junior partner … So far the UK has refused to engage on security … maybe it will change.”

Beaune insisted the French government had not overreacted to news of the defence cooperation agreement last week but that Paris was leading discussions in Brussels on how the development will affect trade talks with Australia.

“We cannot pretend there is no problem,”그는 말했다.

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