British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday indicated that he was out of patience over France expressing its discontent about the trilateral AUKUS nuclear submarine deal that tore up a separate French contract.
Speaking a day after he met US president Joe Biden in Washington, Johnson told reporters: “I just think it’s time for some of our dearest friends around the world to ‘prenez un grip’ about all this, ‘Donnez-moi un break’ because this is fundamentally a great step forward for global security.”
Using a French-English mix, Johnson asked France to “get a grip” and give allies in the United States and Australia “a break”, even as Paris recalled its ambassadors from the US and Australia, and snubbed Britain.
He was translating the English phrases ‘get a grip’ and ‘give me a break’ literally into French.France has been fuming ever since the United States and the United Kingdom made the surprise announcement about the deal to build nuclear submarines for Australia thus scuppering a previous French deal to sell conventional submarines. Paris called the US-
Boris Johnson’s recent comments towards France are likely to further fuel Paris’ anger, the Reuters news agency reported citing two diplomatic sources, who said that there had already been instructions to limit contacts with Britain in the immediate term.
Australian plan, which was launched as part of a new Indo Pacific security group along with Britain, a stab in the back and also pulled its ambassador from Australia.
“It’s true that going back on a commitment made and the word he gave is something that Boris Johnson finds hard to see why that would be a problem,” Nathalie Loiseau, former French Europe minister and European lawmaker, said on Twitter. “This is the whole problem, however, when one claims to want an international order based on rules and relationships based on trust.”