Macron sees fights with UK as ‘good politics’ says Anand Menon
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Director of UK in a Changing Europe, Professor Anand Menon insisted French President Emmanuel Macron considers fights with Britain good politics. During an interview with Express.co.uk, he argued hostility from both sides was expected to continue for two key reasons. One reason being the issues surrounding Northern Ireland and another being the EU’s determination to see Brexit fail.
Professor Menon said: “There are at least two good reasons why there are Brexit rows are going on.
“The first is because there are genuine substantive issues of which the EU and UK disagree.
“They could yet pull the whole thing down and Northern Ireland is the obvious case there.
“The two sides disagree about how to implement the protocol and that is leading to a lot of bad feeling between them.”
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The political scientist went into greater detail as to why both the UK and EU remained hostile to one another.
He said: “The second reason is more structural.
“In a sense, it is going to be hostile because both sides have an interest in it being hostile.
“On the EU’s side, it is quite clear that some heads of state like France’s President Emmanuel Macron see having fights with the British as good politics.
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“He also has an election coming up next year that he wants to win.”
Professor Menon also reiterated the EU’s desire to punish the UK for Brexit in order to further its own political ambitions.
He said: “But also across the EU there is this slight sense that we want Brexit to be seen to fail.
“It helps the EU as a project if they can point to Brexit and say it failed.
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“On the UK’s side equally, politically I think Boris Johnson has put together an electoral coalition of Leave voters.
“82 percent of people that voted for Boris Johnson in 2019 were Leave voters.
“It is leaving the EU, value issues like taking the knee or immigration that holds that coalition together.
“For Boris Johnson, it is in his political interests if every now and again he stokes the fires.
“This is because that is one of the issues that keeps his electoral base happy.”
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