Penny Mordaunt discusses post-Brexit UK-US trade deal
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US President Joe Biden congratulated his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, over the weekend for gaining re-election. While well-wishing, he described France as “out oldest ally and a key partner in addressing global challenges”.
Rejoiners were quick to brand the message a slur against Brexit on social media.
Twitter user Simon Gosden, who describes himself, in apparent parody fashion, as “deep woke” and a “hard Remainer”, said: “Interesting choice of words from the President of the United States.
“France is ‘our oldest ally’ – another kick in the teeth for Brexit Britain.”
Another, whose account is titled “Brexit isn’t working”, added: “Yet another confirmation of the ‘back of the queue’ finger for Brexit Britain.”
But others dismissed this as a desperate attempt to point to a Brexit loss where there wasn’t one.
Matthew Champion, Editor-in-Chief for VICE World News, highlighted “this is actually nothing to do with Brexit”.
He added Mr Biden’s wording was “merely a statement of historical fact”.
Owen Whiteley wrote: “France supported the Americans in their War of Independence from Great Britain, so he’s quite correct.
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“I’m sure a dedicated and knowledgeable historian like Johnson will understand the reference.”
Professor Paul Bernal even joked, in this context: “Technically speaking, we’re the US’s oldest enemy.”
Dan Smith added “our oldest ally” was a phrase commonly used by US officials while referring to France.
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“Special relationship”, he added, was reserved for the UK.
Mr Smith wrote: “It’s a common way the Americans have for describing France, Special Relationship for UK, there are different phrases that flatter Canada, Israel etc.
“None of it really means anything to the superpower but it makes the other country feel special.”
Stanthorpe stressed Remainers were wrong to suggest Mr Biden had engaged in an anti-Brexit “point-scoring exercise”.
They wrote: “France is the US’s oldest ally – the French helped the American revolutionaries overthrow British rule.
“This is not a point scoring exercise, simply a statement of fact.”
Other users suggested that even if the remark was intended as a slight to Britain, it was because of Mr Biden himself, not Brexit.
Angelique wrote: “Ever since Biden got elected it has been clear that he was more interested in being on good terms with France than the UK.”
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