Boris Johnson has reopened the war of words with Paris over the Aukus defense and security deal, urging the French to “take a hold on this and give me a break.”
The Prime Minister was speaking in Washington, where he attended a dinner with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Tuesday evening after meeting Joe Biden, the US president, at the White House.
Paris reacted with fury after the announcement of the three-party pact which will lead to the cancellation of a French contract to build submarines for Australia.
France withdrew its ambassadors from Washington and Canberra in protest, calling the UK a “fifth wheel” and saying this shows Downing Street is “vassal” to Washington.
Asked about the backlash on Wednesday after discussing the pact with Biden and Morrison, the PM said: “I just think it’s time for some of our dearest friends around the world to agree to a check on it and to give me a break.
“Because it’s fundamentally a big step forward for global security. These are three like-minded allies standing side by side to create a new partnership for sharing technology. It is not exclusive. He doesn’t try to support anyone. It is not contradictory with China for example.
Johnson will conclude his three-day trip to the United States on Wednesday by addressing the UN General Assembly. He is expected to urge world leaders to make ambitious new climate pledges ahead of the November Cop26 summit in Glasgow.
Earlier on Wednesday, the spokesperson for the French presidency said that an upcoming phone call with Biden would provide an opportunity to clarify how the Aukus announcement was made and how the United States could resume relations. with an ally.
Macron awaits “clarification on the American decision to keep a European ally out of fundamental talks on cooperation in the Indo-Pacific,” said Gabriel Attal, adding that French anger had not abated.
“We expect our allies to recognize that the exchanges and consultations that should have taken place did not take place, and that this poses a question of trust, on which we must all draw conclusions now. “