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Georgina Wright @GeorginaEWright
, 9 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
New Foreign Secretary @Jeremy_Hunt is in Paris to discuss Brexit & bilateral relations. Can he expect any favours? (mini thread)
1. The good news: France values UK relationship – ally in Middle East, Africa, UN and NATO & partner on intelligence, counter-terrorism. Discussions take place at bilateral level, so largely unaffected by Brexit.
2. The flip-side: France clear that Brexit negotiations are led by the EU. Its position hasn’t changed: UK cannot expect same benefits or preferential treatment. UK-EU trade will inevitably be weaker.
3. Some empathy: France understands Brexit complexity & domestic constraints – but surprised at how long it has taken UK gov to publish White Paper on future UK-EU deal.
4... Speaking of: White Paper is a welcome contribution, but still seen as cherry-picking. Understand that UK looking to defend its own interests, but EU must do the same.
5. One for all & all for one: confused about UK approach to negotiations: Commission not 1 player among 28; it negotiates on behalf of all 27. "EU is united on Brexit"
6. Power of interests: no secret that some in France see Brexit as an opportunity. French Foreign Minister Le Drian to Japanese businesses earlier this year: “UK will be out of EU; we would welcome you in France”
7. No Brexit breakthrough: want to avoid no deal but also Brexit not a priority – social cohesion, labour reforms, security, EU reform, Russia, Middle East, Africa, US are. Plus, negotiations led by EU Commission. END.
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