Brexit pulls the rug under Macron as de Gaulle admits France knew the EU would cripple the UK | UK | New


Emmanuel Macron places a crown on the statue of Charles de Gaulle

French President Emmanuel Macron is extremely stubborn with Britain’s Brexit and appears to be one of the biggest hurdles for EU and UK negotiators as they seek a deal. A deal appeared in sight until Mr Macron, fearing that EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier would compromise too much on fishing rights, intervened and cast doubts on the direction negotiations. Mr Macron also flirted with the idea of ​​following in the footsteps of French WWII hero Charles de Gaulle with a veto on any ‘bad’ deal – the general twice blocked the entrance to the Grande -Brittany in the precursor of the EU, the EEC.

But General de Gaulle has always known that Britain’s accession to the bloc would come at the expense of the British economy and made a series of points that may seem deeply prophetic to Brexiteers today.
His comments are especially noticeable given how terrified Mr Macron seems about Britain trading as an independent coastal state outside of Brussels’ control.

General de Gaulle – who was President of France from 1959 to 1969 – issued a statement in May 1967 concluding that Britain is “not continental” and “linked to the United States”.

For good measure, he also suggested that the UK’s reasons for not joining the bloc were ‘understandable’.

Brexit pulls Macron’s rug as de Gaulle admits France knows EU will cripple UK (Image: GETTY)

Charles de Gaulle (Image: GETTY)

It reads as follows: “In relation to the motives which led the six [founder nations] to organize their unity, we understand for what reasons, why Great Britain – which is not continental, which remains, because of the Commonwealth and because it is an island, engaged well beyond the seas, which is bound to the United States by all kinds of special agreements – did not merge into a Community with defined dimensions and rules. “

General de Gaulle added that Britain benefited from cheap imports from the Commonwealth and would be “forced to increase the price of its food” if the country “submitted to the rules of the six” member states of the EEC. .

The statement continued: “Britain feeds, to a large extent, on food bought cheaply around the world and, in particular, in the Commonwealth.

“If she submits to the Six’s rules, then her balance of payments will be crushed by the ‘levies’ and, on the other hand, she will be forced to raise the price of her food to the price level adopted by the continent. country, consequently to increase the wages of its workers and, thereby, to sell its goods all the more at a higher price and with more difficulty.

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Emmanuel Macron

Emmanuel Macron blocked progress in Brexit negotiations (Image: GETTY)

As if that were not enough, the leader of the French Resistance also stressed that Britain would be “isolated” within the “expensive regime” of the EEC and asked: “How can we not see that the very situation of the sterling prevents the common market from the incorporation of Great Britain? ”

His comments came just six months before he said ‘no’ to Britain’s request for membership in the EEC for the second time, humiliating Prime Minister Harold Wilson in the process.

It came four years after his first veto, when it was Harold Macmillan whom he sent with repeated references to Britain’s island and maritime status as justification.

Britain, he said, was simply not European enough and had “very marked and very original habits and traditions in all of its activities”.

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Charles de Gaulle

Charles de Gaulle addresses Britain’s candidacy for the EEC (Image: GETTY)

Charles de Gaulle, flanked by Winston Churchill and Franklin D Roosevelt

Charles de Gaulle, flanked by Winston Churchill and Franklin D Roosevelt (Image: GETTY)

He added: “In short, the nature, the structure, the very situation that is in England is profoundly different from that of the mainland.”

The EEC was formed during the Treaty of Rome on March 24, 1957, with Belgium, West Germany, France, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands constituting the six original signatures.

Britain, of course, was notable for its absence.

The French Journal of British Studies notes that many across the Channel agree with General de Gaulle’s analysis.

Charles de Gaulle in London

Charles de Gaulle in London (Image: GETTY)

Tony Benn

Tony Benn agrees with General de Gaulle (Image: GETTY)

In 1951, the Labor Party’s pamphlet “European Unity” stated that: “In all respects except distance, we in Britain are closer to our parents in Australia and New Zealand than in the past. ‘on the other side of the world than we are in Europe. ”

Nonetheless, Conservative Prime Minister Edward Heath successfully negotiated Britain’s entry into the EEC in 1972, and on January 1, 1973, Britain officially joined the bloc.

However, during the referendum of 1975 on the entry of Great Britain, the words of General de Gaulle had to resurface.

In a debate with fellow Labor MP Roy Jenkins, avid Eurosceptic Tony Benn argued that the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) was a “siege economy” designed to favor the French and harm Britain.

Regarding the soaring food prices, he added: “We have mountains of butter and mountains of beef because the common agricultural policy was developed for the benefit of the French and if you read [Charles] De Gaulle’s famous veto speech he said the CAP would be an overwhelming burden on the UK economy.

“He never thought that Mr. Heath would get down on his knees and accept it. ”


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