Britain and France can overcome their crises – .

Britain and France can overcome their crises – .

Dominique Moïsi (“France and the United Kingdom should be ashamed of their immature quarrels”, Opinion, 18 October) coherently captures the intellectual and rational explanations of the many challenges that France and the United Kingdom are facing. It does not, however, capture the equally powerful irrational and emotional forces that our countries face today.

Take Brexit and the EU as a recent example. In many ways it was against the UK’s rational economic interest to want and implement Brexit, but the outcome of the referendum on leaving the EU was, if you will, an irrational response but emotional to what many voters saw as more important than simple issues – regaining national sovereignty and curtailing freedom of movement. To add to the emotional trauma, the EU, and in particular France, could be seen (by some) as the abandoned lover in a relatively unhappy relationship that spanned 45 years. That we have the current generation of leaders in place doesn’t really help either.

Here is the catch. After so long in a formal relationship, both intellectually and emotionally, it takes time to heal various bruised egos and unravel common affairs.

However, in my opinion, the future is bright, but first we have to go through the emotions (and, yes, the temper tantrums). While we are admittedly experiencing local turbulence with France (and perhaps other member states), the UK and France tend to unite to tackle many of the great geopolitical challenges of our era. History suggests it will likely be as soon as possible.

John M Jones
London N19, United Kingdom


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