LETTER: No improvement in links with France

A reader discusses the UK's relationship with France.

French flags fly in front of the Eiffel Tower
French flags fly in front of the Eiffel Tower

Our relationship with France can never be described as perfectly harmonious. It is a history that tells us that there is a distinct feeling of mistrust between the two nations at times. Although we came together to defeat the Germans in two great wars it did not take long before a schism emerged in our relationship. When the German army defeated the French army, Charles de Gaulle made his way to England where he became a prominent figure in the free French movement. France, and De Gaulle in particular, blocked our application to join the EEC, he made several speeches attacking Britain and saying we were not compatible with the ideals of the market.

Fast forward 50 years or so and you will see nothing much has changed. Our friends in France have once again showed us how they feel. Emmanuel Jean-Michel Macron is no Charles De Gaulle, but you cannot help but realise the French and the English have this strange relationship that over the centuries seems not to change. It is of course mutually beneficial if France can be persuaded to modify its position and compromise so a deal can be struck. Ironically it might be our friend Angela Merkel who makes everyone see sense, after all we are in many ways culturally closer to Germany.

John Green, West Midlands

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