‘Gone in months!’ Britons mock Macron’s electoral woes as French ‘pick fight’ with UK

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Officials have been working for months to arrange a high-level meeting between the two leaders but Paris is understood to have resisted the move. One senior source said: “The Government has reached out to try to arrange a summit but the French aren’t interested.

“They’ve simply said there’s no point.”

The breakdown in communication comes amid strained ties between the UK and France in the wake of Brexit and the coronavirus pandemic.

Tensions have boiled over in recent months over a number of issues including fishing rights, coronavirus vaccines and travel restrictions.

The next presidential elections in France take place in less than 12 months and many Britons claim Mr Macron is seeking to boost his popularity – but some argue it may backfire.

A number of Express.co.uk readers took aim at Mr Macron and let their opinions known in the comments section of a previous story.

One reader wrote: “The French are due to have their national elections in 10 months.

“Expect more grandstanding from Macron although if polls are to be believed, we won’t have to put up with him for much longer.”

A second added: “First it’s not the French causing issues it’s Macron. Most French would prefer trade and jobs…. rather than having a tantrum every five mins.

“Who cares Macron is gone in a few months.”

A third added: “Wait till next year, Macron will hopefully be out of a job by then.”

Meanwhile, a fourth added: “The French continue being a laughing stock.”

President Macron is set to go head-to-head with National Rally leader Marine Le Pen in the election next April.

Leading opinions polls have the old rivals neck-and-neck in the first round of voting, with Mr Macron expected to win the run-off by around 12 points – fewer than the 32-point margin he achieved in 2017.

The UK and France traditionally hold a summit every two years to maintain harmonious Anglo-French ties.

However, the last formal gathering was held in January 2018.

The Prime Minister last met President Macron at the G7 summit in Cornwall in June and Downing Street reportedly briefed out details of an embarrassing conversation.

Mr Macron allegedly claimed Northern Ireland was a separate country from the UK during discussions over the Brexit deal’s protocol to avoid a hard border – something denied by Paris.

Britain finally left the EU in January and French fishermen have since raged over access to UK waters – with ministers in Paris even threatening to cut off electricity supply to Jersey.

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Most recently travel restrictions have triggered a fresh diplomatic row after France was temporarily placed on a so-called “amber-plus” category, which meant fully vaccinated people must quarantine, something that has since been scrapped.

A senior Government source said: “Both sides would acknowledge that the bilateral relationship is frayed and isn’t where we want it to be.

“There is a bit of a view that elements of the French system are basically crossing the street to pick a fight every day.

“Some of that is coming from the European Commission but we see it is being driven by French voices in the EU.

“We all want that barnacle off the boat. There is a huge desire on our side to be helpful.”
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