Macron's anger 'nothing to do with Brexit' but 'peculiar resentment' towards UK

28 November 2021, 21:05

Sir Iain Duncan Smith: France has a 'peculiar resentment' towards UK

By Tim Dodd

Former Tory party leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith has told LBC that Emmanuel Macron's "anger" about the PM's letter to him addressing the Channel crossings has "nothing to do with Brexit" but "all to do with the French attitude".

Tension has risen between Number 10 and the Élysée Palace after Boris Johnson tweeted a letter sent to Emmanuel Macron in search of a solution to the crisis in the English Channel.

The post resulted in the French president withdrawing an invite to Home Secretary Priti Patel to a summit to address the migrant crisis.

Mr Duncan Smith told Camilla Tominey: "Sometimes I listen to the media... you'd think that France objecting or getting angry with the UK is something new and it's all got something to do with Brexit.

"French fishing fleets were blockading Dover and Calais whilst we were in the European Union, they were threatening the Channel Islands whilst we were in the European Union.

"It's got nothing to do with some of the Brexit stuff, it's all to do with the French attitude I think, particularly the governing class, towards the UK. There is a kind of peculiar resentment I think, at times, towards us."

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"And in the middle of a run to an election, it's always the case of, it seems to me, of 'go after the les Anglais' as they refer to it 'and give them a good kicking'," he said.

"And that way you become more popular because you look like you're tough standing up to the British but nine times out of ten it's complete and utter rubbish and it's all done for show."

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Mr Duncan Smith continued: "Any sensible set of governments would sit down with each other to get these things resolved, instead of which, the French have complained because Boris Johnson made it public, well, that's what politics is all about, and now he has thrown his toys out the pram."