FILE PHOTO: Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson welcomes France’s President Emmanuel Macron at the NATO leaders summit in Watford, Britain December 4, 2019. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann/Pool
LONDON (Reuters) – President Emmanuel Macron visits the United Kingdom on Thursday to mark the 80th anniversary of General de Gaulle’s appeal to the French resistance and to talk Brexit with Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Macron, who will be hosted by heir-to-the-throne Prince Charles, will mark de Gaulle’s June 18, 1940 “Appel” from BBC headquarters in London for resistance to the Nazi occupation of France during World War Two.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said that the visit showed that despite some difficult episodes in centuries of Franco-British relations, the two neighbours stood beside each other in times of need.
“It shows that with France, when we’ve had sometimes a difficult relationship at points in our history, that actually when it really counts we stand shoulder to shoulder together”, Raab said.
“There are a huge range of issues, Brexit, COVID, I’m cooperating very closely with the French on Iran, the Middle East and on Hong Kong and actually it’s a really important relationship and we’re proud he’s coming here to bestow that honour on London and on the British people.”
The United Kingdom has told the European Union it must break a fundamental impasse to clinch a Brexit trade deal in the next few months.
The UK left the EU on January 31 but the main terms of its membership remain in place during a transition period until the end of this year, by which time both sides hope to have clinched and approved a free trade deal.
Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge and Kate Holton; editing by Michael Holden
Originally published on Reuters