Brexit deadline looms over day of Anglo-French solidarity

LONDON (Reuters) – Prime Minister Boris Johnson advised France’s President Emmanuel Macron that talks on a publish Brexit deal can’t drag on into the autumn, because the French chief visited London to mark the 80th anniversary of General de Gaulle’s name for wartime resistance,

French President Emmanuel Macron gestures as he meets Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson at Downing Street in London, Britain, June 18, 2020. REUTERS/Hannah McKay/Pool

Macron’s first journey outdoors France for the reason that coronavirus pandemic highlighted the brand new guidelines of socially-distant diplomacy because the usually tactile pair posed two metres aside for pictures.

The major focus for Macron was to mark De Gaulle’s “Appel” of June 18, 1940, a radio handle he made to the French nation from BBC headquarters in London calling for resistance to the Nazi occupation of France throughout World War Two.

However, Macron and Johnson additionally held wide-ranging talks agreeing on the necessity for a worldwide response to the coronavirus disaster, and condemning China’s new safety legal guidelines in Hong Kong.

But with lower than six months till a Brexit transition association expires, slow-moving commerce talks with the EU inevitably featured prominently.

“(Johnson) underlined that the UK does not believe it makes sense for there to be prolonged negotiations into the autumn,” his workplace mentioned.

Macron advised Johnson France nonetheless helps reaching a deal.

Britain left the European Union on Jan. 31 however talks have thus far made little progress. Johnson and EU leaders say a deal is achievable, however either side say time is operating out and the prospect of a no-deal final result stays.

The French President was welcomed by a guard of honour as he was greeted by Prince Charles, inheritor to the British throne, and his spouse Camilla at their Clarence House dwelling.

They then laid wreaths at a statue to De Gaulle, whereas Macron additionally positioned tributes at memorials to Queen Elizabeth’s mother and father, George VI, king throughout the warfare, and his spouse additionally known as Elizabeth.

The queen spoke to Macron over the cellphone throughout his go to, and Johnson later watched a flypast by British and French aerobatic groups with their crimson, white and blue vapour trails.

Macron bestowed the Legion d’Honneur, France’s highest distinction, on London in recognition of town offering a base for De Gaulle, whereas Britain has honoured 4 French Resistance fighters: Edgard Tupet-Thome, 100; Daniel Cordier, 99; Hubert Germain, 99, and Pierre Simonet, 98.

“That night, De Gaulle became the voice and the breath of Free France,” Macron mentioned of the “Appel”.

“He raised the flame of the resistance higher than a beacon, so that its ray of hope, from the banks of the Thames, shine over the land of France. The man who would carry the destiny of a breathless country. From London. Thanks to London.”

Thursday’s event poignantly coincided with the demise of singer Vera Lynn on the age of 103, whose songs turned symbols of hope in Britain throughout World War Two.

Additional reporting by Michel Rose in Paris; Writing by Michael Holden and William James; Editing by Pravin Char, Giles Elgood and Stephen Addison


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