DFor the previous 4 years, the connection between the UK and the European Union (EU) has been poisoned by the infinite Brexit negotiations, however that ought to not forestall us from pondering now about what a future partnership could possibly be.
France can play a serious position if it avoids an outdated view of what post-Brexit Britain is like. French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson had discovered, in 2019, a counter-intuitive convergence to place an finish to the incessant postponements of the deadline for the British withdrawal.
On many worldwide points, from Iran to local weather change by the combat in opposition to terrorism, or that of the Indo-Pacific zone, the positions of Paris and London are shut. At a time when the USA is popping away from the European continent, the Franco-British relationship is crucial for the 2 nations so as to have the ability to proceed to affect the worldwide scene. The UK is certainly a key safety and protection participant for Paris, because the Saint-Malo (December 4, 1998) and Lancaster (November 2, 2010) protection agreements have proven.
10 Downing Road has discovered a voice
London has had unhealthy press in recent times, each due to Brexit and its shortcomings within the face of the Covid-19 pandemic. However in international coverage, 10 Downing Road has regained a voice and initiatives exhibiting what the imaginative and prescient of a "World Britain" promoted by Boris Johnson could possibly be.
Satirically, it’s about Hong Kong, the place the solar lastly set on the British Empire in 1997, that Britain is making selections exhibiting what its post-Brexit position could possibly be.
Removed from being intimidated by Beijing's threats in opposition to HSBC, the UK's largest financial institution, London has stood agency and responded to the breach of the Sino-UK treaty with the daring provide to greater than three million Hong Kong residents – holding themselves, or their household, the standing of "British Nationwide Abroad" – rights of indefinite residence and a path to citizenship.
Whereas the EU nonetheless struggles to outline a standard place on Hong Kong, London has managed to rally Australia, Canada and the USA for a joint method.
In the identical vein, the UK needs to strengthen the position of the “5 Eyes” intelligence alliance with the English-speaking nations. London has additionally determined to cut back to zero the position of the Chinese language firm Huawei within the British 5G community, which is able to unlock a better partnership with the White Home.
Formidable international coverage
This bold international coverage, for the second, strikes the UK away from the Brexiters' preliminary venture, that of a "Singapore-on-Thames", focusing above all on financial dumping and the bottom social value.
This is a chance for France. For 3 years, Emmanuel Macron has pursued a practical European international coverage with out taboos, together with a demanding dialogue with Moscow and constructive relations with Trump's America. It may possibly additionally permit Europe to show the web page with London.
President Macron might thus proceed to diversify the companions and steadiness the connection with Berlin at European degree, and even push Germany to take duty on protection points. For his half, Boris Johnson, with out admitting it, wants this relationship with Paris, besides to lock himself within the deadlock of an ever extra difficult partnership with the USA, between a predatory Trump and detached Democrats , even hostile, associating Brexit and the Republican Celebration.
Reconstruction of the connection
Confronted with the rigidity of European decision-making processes in international coverage, the reconstruction of the connection with London provides the chance to create new and extra versatile types of cooperation relying on the challenges.
Paris might do effectively to relaunch the E3 format (Germany, France, United Kingdom), presumably bolstered by the EU's exterior motion service, which performed a pivotal position within the nuclear negotiations with Iran.
The discreet and environment friendly mannequin of the "Quad" throughout the Chilly Conflict (Germany, United States, France, United Kingdom), the onerous core of the coordination of French, German, British and American international insurance policies, supported by a rotating secretary and dealing teams, might additionally represent an fascinating precedent, this time between the three nice Europeans. The creation of a European safety council, initially proposed by Emmanuel Macron, following the identical logic however open to different companions, is also relaunched. No matter system is chosen, it’s in any case time to show the web page and transfer on to “Rebuild”.
Our collection on Brexit points
Benjamin Haddad, director of the Initiative for the Way forward for Europe on the suppose tank Atlantic Council, primarily based in Washington DC, and creator of "Paradise Misplaced. Trump's America and the Finish of European Illusions "(Grasset, 2019); Ben Judah, Franco-British journalist, creator of “That is London” (Picador, 2016, not translated).