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Jean-Yves Le Drian appeared on French television where he was interviewed by reporters about the relationship France has with the UK. Mr Le Drian was simply asked whether he considered the UK and France to be on amicable terms or were drifting towards competition and conflict. The French politician then unleashed on Boris Johnson by branding him a “populist” before discussing Brexit and its effect on relations.
Speaking on the French television programme, The Grand Jury, Mr Le Drian was interviewed by prominent French journalists about the political matters of the day.
During the Sunday episode, Mr Le Drian accused Mr Johnson of being a “populist” during a furious rant.
He said: “I think that Mr Boris Johnson is a populist, and he uses all the words within his reach to reinforce his policy in the United Kingdom.
“But he also tries to blame others for the difficulties he faces internally inside.
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“The United Kingdom is a great country even if, unfortunately for us, and them also, they left the European Union they remain a potential partner.”
Mr Le Drian has also been a vocal critic of the AUKUS deal agreed in September which saw France’s arms deal with Australia being scrapped.
In an interview with Le Monde, Mr Le Drian remarked: “Things have indeed not moved with Australia, whose prime minister is digging in his heels with denial and contradictions,”
“With the United Kingdom, almost a year after Brexit, what strikes me the most is that everything is happening as if their Global Britain strategy involves the whole world, except Europe…
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“Trust is being reestablished with the United States of America.”
At the time, Mr Le Drian called the cancelled submarine deal, worth more than €50billion, a “stab in the back” as France recalled ambassadors from Canberra and Washington.
He told French television: “The fact that for the first time in the history of relations between the United States and France we are recalling our ambassador for consultations is a serious political act.”
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However, the French ambassador in London was not recalled in what some considered an insult to the UK.
French Europe Minister Clement Beaune suggested it was because the UK was a “junior partner” who simply followed the wishes of the US.
He told reporters: “Our British friends explained to us they were leaving the EU to create Global Britain. We can see that this is a return into the American lap and a form of accepted vassalisation.”
Vice-President Kamala Harris recently visited France in an attempt to smooth things over with the Government following the AUKUS snub.
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