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Boris Johnson responds in Franglais to AUKUS kerfuffle

  • According to today’s Telegraph,

    “Boris Johnson has said France should “prenez un grip and donnez-moi un break", amid the escalating diplomatic row over the submarine deal agreed between the UK, US and Australia.

    Paris is furious after being blindsided by the pact, which included an agreement to build nuclear submarines and meant that Australia pulled out of a £72.8billion deal to buy diesel-powered French vessels.”

  • To be fair, France got screwed, because they did have a $66 billion contract to provide Australia with 12 diesel-powered submarines. Australia walked away from their contract in favor ofAmerica’s newer technology. And the Biden administration is certainly to blame for not communicating with France. It is unclear what the UK’s part in this debacle was. Washington Post reports that while France recalled the ambassadors from the US and Australia, “Paris did not recall its ambassador to London, sparing Britain from the worst of the fallout partly because French officials saw it as a junior partner in the new defense pact, with Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian likening Britain’s role to that of a “fifth wheel on the wagon.”

    Biden has smoothed things over with Macron, who is sending the French ambassador back to the US today.   The ambassador to Australia has not been sent back to Canberra, perhaps to apply a bit more pressure on Australia to pay the tab for the cancelled subs order.

  • Here’s The Telegraph’s explanation of the burst of Franglais from Boris, who everyone knows speaks very good French.

    This was not the act of bumbling crassness it may have appeared. It was a very un-bumbling crassness. Consider the diplomatic context. The French, with Talleyrand-like subtlety, broke diplomatic relations with the US and Australia over the issue, but chose not to recall their ambassador to the UK on the presumed reasoning that we were not important enough to bother snubbing.   

    Accordingly, the Prime Minister’s flippant burst of Franglais was a calculating reassertion of the upper hand. By refusing to take French anger seriously it was designed to drive the prideful M Macron and his garlic-chewing metropolitan allies in North London into a state of purple-faced fury, while giving Mr Johnson’s natural allies, who consider snails a pest rather than a main course, a good chuckle.”