Leaders from developed countries with advanced economies are having a meeting together for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic began. One rarely expects very much to come out of G7 summits but on this occasion, President of France; Emmanuel Macron told British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Saturday that Franco-British relations could only be reset if he stood by the Brexit divorce deal he signed with the European Union.
Recall that since the time Britain went through with its exit from the EU in December last year, relations with the bloc and particularly France have soured, with Macron becoming the most vocal critic of London’s refusal to honour the terms of part of its Brexit deal.
During the meeting which had the Group of Seven world’s most advanced economies in attendance, Macron who spoke in English to Johnson, told him the two countries had common interests, but that ties could only improve if Johnson kept his word on Brexit.
“The president told Boris Johnson there needed to be a reset of the Franco-British relationship. This can happen provided that he keeps his word with the Europeans,” the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said.
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The British leader, who is hosting the G7 meeting, wants the summit to focus on global issues but has stood his ground on trade with Northern Ireland, calling on the EU to be more flexible in its approach to easing trade to the province from Britain.
According to a statement from Downing Street, Johnson had told the leaders he would not change tack.
“The prime minister expressed confidence in the UK’s position in the Northern Ireland protocol,” a statement said after he met with Macron.
“He made clear his desire for pragmatism and compromise on all sides.”
Johnson will also meet German Chancellor; Angela Merkel later on Saturday, where she could also raise the row over part of the EU divorce deal, called the Northern Ireland protocol.