Boris Johnson trolled Emmanuel Macron with a taunt about a vintage wine coming from “when the French last won a naval battle” as the two clashed at the G7 summit.
The Prime Minister made the joke at the rally in Cornwall amid a growing row over Brexit rules in Northern Ireland.
He kicked off the last closed-door session yesterday with executives admitting to being a “bit stubborn” after their beach barbecue at Carbis Bay the day before.
And he apparently blamed the hangover on the heaviness of the wine Mr Macron brought, saying it “was as old as the last time the French won a naval battle,” according to The Sun.
Britain inflicted famous defeats on the French at sea, including the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.
Mr Macron reportedly brought the drink as a gift to Joe Biden, but the US president let his counterparts drink it after going to bed early.
The coup came after Mr Johnson and EU leaders opposed trade restrictions imposed between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK under Brexit.
Boris Johnson (right) trolled Emmanuel Macron (left) with a jibe about a vintage wine from ‘when the French last won a naval battle’ as the two clashed at the top of the G7
MrJohnson kicked off the latest closed-door session with executives yesterday admitting to being a ‘little stubborn’ after their beach barbecue at Carbis Bay the day before (pictured)
The Prime Minister complained about having to remind other leaders that the UK is “indivisible” after the French president hinted that Northern Ireland was not part of the country.
Yesterday Foreign Minister Dominic Raab called Mr Macron’s comments “offensive” and said it was time for the president and other EU leaders to show “a little respect” for the territorial integrity of the United Kingdom.
Mr. Macron retaliated at a press conference last night, accusing the Prime Minister of launching “controversies” and demanding that he “remain very calm”.
He claimed it was the Brexit deal signed by Mr Johnson that led to the current stalemate – even though the UK maintains the EU is applying the terms unreasonably.
The line focuses on rules that would ban the sale of British sausages and other chilled meats in Northern Ireland from the end of this month.
Under the terms of the Brexit deal, Northern Ireland is still part of the EU’s single market in order to avoid the need for a border with Ireland.
But ministers say an EU ‘purist’ approach to controlling goods crossing the Irish Sea to Northern Ireland has made the situation intolerable.
The Prime Minister is set to unilaterally extend a “grace period” for chilled meats which is due to expire at the end of this month, despite warnings from the EU that it could spark a trade war.
Mr Johnson and Mr Macron (pictured in talks on Saturday) opposed trade restrictions imposed between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK under Brexit terms.
Johnson’s warning about China to NATO
NATO must tackle the growing challenge posed by China, Boris Johnson will warn today.
Speaking at a NATO summit in Brussels, the prime minister will warn that the Cold War alliance must deal with the growing threat posed by China, while maintaining its traditional focus on Russia.
The ministers were alarmed by the growing muscle mass of Chinese diplomacy, including a crackdown on human rights in Hong Kong.
Downing Street said Mr Johnson would use today’s summit to “underscore the need for NATO to look beyond the Euro-Atlantic to meet challenges further afield, including in the Indo- Pacific “. A source said: “The West district is much bigger than before. If you look at the trade, what’s going on in the Indo-Pacific in terms of disruption has direct effects here. NATO must evolve to remedy this.
Mr Johnson said: “NATO is not only important to the security of the UK, it is our security. NATO owes the billion people we protect every day to constantly adapt and evolve to meet new challenges. ‘
US President Joe Biden is expected to reaffirm US support for NATO after years in which Donald Trump threatened to step down.
A government source told the Mail that the EU’s position meant there would likely already be shortages of chilled meat products in Northern Ireland next month, as many supermarkets order their products four weeks in advance.
Mr Johnson has warned he is ready to invoke Article 16 of the Northern Ireland Protocol section of the Brexit deal, which would allow the UK to unilaterally suspend all border controls.
Mr Macron has reportedly questioned Northern Ireland’s status in face-to-face talks with the PM over the weekend.
Mr Johnson had asked him: ‘How would you like the French courts to prevent you from moving sausages from Toulouse to Paris? ”
Mr Macron replied that it was not a good comparison because Paris and Toulouse were part of the same country, which prompted the Prime Minister to react: “Northern Ireland and Great Britain are also part of the same country ”.
Mr Johnson said yesterday that some EU leaders had to “get it into their heads” that Britain would never agree to measures which would drive a wedge between parts of the country.
He added: “What I am saying is that we will do whatever is necessary to protect the territorial integrity of the UK. “
Meanwhile, Mr Raab told Sky News: ‘We have seen high-ranking EU officials in series talking about Northern Ireland as if it were some sort of country different from the UK. United.
“It’s not just offensive, it’s having real effects on the communities of Northern Ireland, creating great concern, great consternation. “
Mr Macron said yesterday that EU leaders had spent “thousands of hours” discussing British sovereignty during the Brexit negotiations and that they did not need any lessons on it.
Asked about the dispute, he told reporters: “Let’s not waste time arguing… France has never questioned British sovereignty or British territorial integrity. ”
But he said Brexit was “the child of that British sovereignty” – and claimed that the current dispute stems directly from the deal brokered by the Prime Minister.
Mr Macron said the EU should not be blamed for “some inconsistencies which were clear from the start”.