French defence minister Florence Parly has postponed a meeting with counterpart Ben Wallace after Mr Macron was left incensed by Boris Johnson. Las
French defence minister Florence Parly has postponed a meeting with counterpart Ben Wallace after Mr Macron was left incensed by Boris Johnson. Last week the UK unveiled a new pact with the US and Australia, which includes the development of nuclear-powered submarines.
The deal replaced a pre-existing agreement between Canberra and Paris to supply diesel-electric subs.
Not informed about the new pact until just hours before it was announced, France has reacted furiously to the new defence alliance known as Aukus.
While the bilateral meeting between Mr Wallace and Ms Parly has been postponed, France also took the extraordinary step of recalling its ambassadors to the US and Australia.
France’s Europe minister Clement Beaune said the UK’s ambassador had not been recalled because it was the “junior partner” which had accepted its “vassalisation” by the US.
READ MORE: Ex-French diplomat in Aukus swipe – ‘UK fifth wheel of the carriage’
Conservative MPs said the French President was “throwing his rattle out of the pram” with his actions.
“They’ve been massively triggered over losing the subs contract,” on MP told Express.co.uk.
Accusing France of acting in bad faith for years, they added: “Bearing in mind the number of contracts their companies have fiddled through EU procurement rules over the years it’s a bit of karma.”
Meanwhile, David Jones, deputy leader of the eurosceptic European Research Group, said he was shocked by France’s “extraordinary” decision to lash out by cancelling the defence meeting with the UK.
He said: “Extraordinary irascibility on the part of a mature EU member state.
“If you’re really angry, it’s cooler not to show it.”
READ MORE: Why the EU will pay for France’s fury over Australia submarine deal
The Prime Minister has tried to ease frictions with France following the row over the submarines.
He insisted the two countries had a “very friendly relationship” when talking to reporters on his way to the UN General Assembly in New York.
Mr Johnson said: “Aukus is not in any way meant to be zero-sum, it’s not meant to be exclusionary.
“It’s not something that anybody needs to worry about and particularly not our French friends.”
He added the partnership shared with France was of “huge importance”.
Foreign Office minister James Cleverly said “all international relationships go through ups and downs”.
“The relationship with France, as I say, all bilateral relationships go through periods of tension, that is the inevitability of relationships, just as it is,” he told the BBC.
“On a personal level, I have absolutely no doubt that, ultimately, our relationship with France will endure, but this is about making sure that we have a really strong defence relationship with two very, very important defence partners.”