By: Geoffrey Van Orden, Distinguished Fellow
Friday September 03 2021, 12.01am, The Times
Sir, Further to Nathalie Loiseau’s Thunderer (“Britain and the EU must forge strong foreign policy bond”, Sep 2), it is France that determines the EU’s foreign policy. There cannot now be a call for a new and strong EU-UK partnership on foreign, security and defence policy when we cannot trust France as a friend.
In spite of our bilateral defence treaty and our support for France’s efforts to defeat terrorism in the Sahel, France was a poisonous influence throughout the Brexit negotiations. It exploited the Irish border and fisheries issues and sought in every way to undermine the City of London. France has also allowed the Channel migrant scandal to be a running sore for 20 years. It seeks access to our technology for its own advantage and has blocked our continued involvement in projects in which we had massively invested.
In this small, dangerous world, there should of course be close co-operation in all policy areas with our continental neighbours. But it is paramount for all who seek to protect our freedom, prosperity and way of life to revitalise the transatlantic alliance (Iain Martin, “The end of Pax Americana leaves us all in the cold”, Comment, Sep 2) in a reliable and meaningful way. Trust is at the heart of all friendships.
Geoffrey Van Orden, a distinguished fellow at the Gold Institute for International Strategy, is a former leader of the Conservatives in the European Parliament.