Saturday, 23 July 2016
Theresa May meets President Hollande of France
Continuing Theresa May's hectic week, she went to France on Thursday (21st) to have an initial meeting and talk with President Hollande of France. It was thought that the talk may have got a bit tricky because Pres. Hollande is determined to insist that the free movement agreement is non-negotiable if the United Kingdom wants to avail itself of the single market.
The talk went well according to the papers although there were inevitably a few tricky moments. Pres. Hollande was prepared to continue border controls at Calais to restrict the free movement of many migrants, both refugees and economic migrants, for the time being. He also said that Britains living in France could stay for as long as they want.
He was adamant that Britain should invoke the Article 50 as soon as possible, although Angela Merkel thinks we should take our time. I wonder why the French are in such a rush for us to invoke that Article? It feels like they want the whole thing over with as soon as possible to maybe prevent the French from getting edgy and wanting their own referendum over leaving the E.U. Perhaps they are trying to avoid being pushed into agreeing special terms for Britain over those already agreed with Norway and Switzerland. Since Britain, France and Germany are the strongest countries in the E.U. there could be some very interesting negotiations to come with this three way partnership. Maybe the two women will gang up on the man or maybe the two remainers will gang up on the leaver.
Apparently David Cameron tried, at the last minute before the referendum vote, to persuade Angela Merkel to give away more with regards to the free movement of people, telling her that he thought the wishes of the people here in Britain were going more towards the leave side. She refused, the people here voted out and now we are negotiating our withdrawal. I don't think that is what France and Germany wanted or expected!