Boris Johnson will forge an alliance with “sympathetic” nations against France | Politics

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Boris Johnson will forge an alliance with “sympathetic” nations against France | Politics


The move comes as Foreign Office sources told the Sunday Express that the UK is forging alliances with more sympathetic countries in the EU amid growing hostility from France. A strong relationship with Visegrad 4 – Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia – could see UK support for Polexit and the efforts of the other three countries to assert sovereignty against the EU. A source close to Foreign Minister Liz Truss joked: “Maybe we should create a consultative unit on leaving the EU.

The news also emerged as talks between Lord Frost and the EU are expected to continue next week on amending Northern Ireland’s controversial protocol.
Brussels has offered significant concessions in the face of threats from the UK to trigger Article 16 and end the protocol, including allowing sausages, food and medicine to travel freely to Northern Ireland from the rest of UK.

But more changes are needed, especially with regard to the EU’s requirement that its own European Court of Justice be the final arbiter in any dispute.

The tense negotiations are taking place amid growing hostility from France and the EU to Britain over fears that they will attempt to ‘punish Britain for Brexit’ and that the President’s election campaign French Emmanuel Macron next year fuels an anti-British stance on his part. government.

A source close to Ms Truss noted that she still had not spoken to the French foreign minister at the time of the Tories conference last month since her appointment to the post in September.
It is claimed that Ms Truss thinks “the EU is fundamentally France” in the way Macron is able to dictate bloc policy as Germany’s influence waned after Angela Merkel left.

The EU had complained about her conference speech for “not naming them” or even considering them as a priority, but Ms Truss is said to be “quite relaxed about what they think”.

The source said: ‘She talks a lot to the Balts [Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia] and Visegrad 4. They seem to be much more receptive and friendly. We need to strengthen our allegiances.

A diplomatic source from a Visegrad country also pointed out that they would like to be able to meet with Mr Johnson in a year when one of their group, the Czech Republic, holds the EU presidency and considers Great Britain “a precious ally”.

It is understood that they are pushing for the meeting to be held ahead of the Hungarian elections due in April, which could give Prime Minister Viktor Orban a boost, the first EU leader to demand respect for the Brexit result .

Following the row over the Polish Constitutional Court challenging Brussels to rule that national law trumps EU law, other countries in Visegrad 4 and elsewhere in the EU are also preparing to push back the borders.

The crisis has led to speculation that Poland may end up leaving the EU while others want to end Brussels’ primacy over their national laws.

The diplomatic source noted: “We are awaiting the decision in Austria which has a similar case and which could be very important. “

The source also scoffed at claims by EU leaders that the UK’s problems with supply chains and truck drivers are due to Brexit.

“I was in Brussels last week and they also have empty supermarket shelves there. It’s not Brexit, it’s an international issue caused by covid.

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