Title: France Forges Stronger Ties with Britain as Macron Hosts Key Figures
France is experiencing a notable change in its relationship with Britain, with trust levels significantly improved compared to a year ago. In a bid to strengthen bilateral ties, the French president, Emmanuel Macron, is set to host a series of meetings and events, including high-profile figures from the UK, such as Sir Keir Starmer, the leader of the Labour Party, and King Charles and Queen Camilla.
While some within Labour circles perceive Sir Keir’s meeting with Macron as a triumph, it is not uncommon for the French president to engage with opposition leaders. Both Macron and Sir Keir share commonalities in their political backgrounds and interests, hailing from the center-left and having connections to former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
However, it is important to note that improving the Brexit deal agreed upon in 2020 will not be the central focus of the meeting. France has consistently emphasized that discussions regarding Brexit should be conducted between the British government and the European Commission in Brussels.
France has been working closely with Britain’s current Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, and has already strengthened bilateral cooperation by reinforcing the policing of “small boat” crossings from the French coast. The appeal of collaborating with a future British government led by a leader who voted against Brexit and exhibits an open-minded approach towards engaging with the EU, particularly in defense and security matters, is evident to France.
Coinciding with Sir Keir’s meeting with Macron, a long-awaited state visit by King Charles and Queen Camilla is scheduled to commence on September 20th. This visit was initially postponed from March 2020 due to civil unrest following Macron’s proposed pension reform. The state visit includes prestigious events such as a banquet at Versailles, a speech by King Charles to members of the French parliament, and visits to iconic landmarks like Notre Dame and an organic vineyard near Bordeaux.
Reports suggest that Macron and King Charles have already established a strong bond, while the French public holds a positive opinion of the British royal family. These various diplomatic interactions and engagements reflect the growing warmth in the relationship between France and Britain, setting the stage for enhanced cooperation and mutual understanding in the future.