Is This Grown-Up Politics From A Minister Of State Of The French Republic?

Graham Charles Lear
6 min readSep 8, 2020

Above French European affairs minister weasel Clement Beaune

Sometimes in life words fail us all, I have to tell you this is one of those moments where words failed me.

However, these moments don't last long so as usual I will do my best to voice my opinion.

First a little background.

French Europe Minister uses iconic British wartime poster for a childish political stunt

Clément Beaune forgets British troops dying to defend France, misappropriates poster, then backs Barnier

Is this grown-up politics from a Minister of State of the French Republic?

On Saturday 05 Sep 2020 the French Europe Minister tweeted the following:

Extraordinarily a French Minister has taken an official British Government poster designed by the Ministry of Information during the period 27 June — 06 July 1939 and adapted it for a cheap political gesture. Months after the poster was first produced, British troops were losing their lives on French soil fighting for the freedom of this Minister’s country against Nazi domination.

As Britain anticipated war with Germany in 1939 — and all the uncertainty that went with another conflict with that country in the space of just over 20 years — the Government set about conceptualising and building communication campaigns aimed at galvanising the will and actions of the people to withstand a further period of hostilities. Developed in the Spring of that year, the Keep Calm and Carry On tag line pre-dated the outbreak of the Second World War, but was apparently never formally broadcast. Campaign posters like the one shown here were discovered over sixty years later; igniting a combination of nostalgia and pride in how well these few, simple words summed up the British psyche — not just in times of war, either — and this clever catchphrase has since been extended into a variety of different places and uses.

Now one of France’s government ministers thought it was funny to use the same KEEP CALM and insult us with it. Then EU Commission then endorsed this insult Monsieur Beaune’s tweet was then retweeted by the Official Spokesman for the EU Commission, Daniel Ferrie. I will leave it to readers to decide it this is grown-up politics when hundreds of thousands of EU jobs are at stake. Readers may also question the right of a French Minister of State to satirise an iconic symbol of British resistance against the Nazi domination of Europe which included enormous support to defend France.

This French Minster is the one who said yesterday: “Canada, as far as I know, is not the UK”

Yesterday the new French Minister for European Affairs, Clément Beaune, gave an interview to TV station France24 in which he presented viewers his insights on the world and on Brexit.

The interviewer raised the fact that the UK is seeking a Canada-style trade agreement and this was his response:

“It’s very interesting because a ‘Canada-type agreement’ is a type of agreement. But Canada, as far as I know, is not the UK. And we have 10 times, 10 times, more trade between the EU and the UK than we have with Canada.”

In a searing and probing political interview of the type which would be worthy of the children’s programme Blue Peter, the French Minister was not asked why the EU is therefore not 10 times more interested in doing a trade deal with the UK than it was with Canada.

Readers can watch the interview here.

interview in English here.

Meanwhile, in No10 the UK Government is quite clearly ‘upping the ante’

Below is the full text of the Prime Minister’s statement issued yesterday.

Prime Minister’s words on EU negotiations, 07 Sept 2020, round 8 of EU negotiations

We are now entering the final phase of our negotiations with the EU.

The EU has been very clear about the timetable. I am too. There needs to be an agreement with our European friends by the time of the European Council on 15 October if it’s going to be in force by the end of the year. So there is no sense in thinking about timelines that go beyond that point. If we can’t agree by then, then I do not see that there will be a free trade agreement between us, and we should both accept that and move on.

We will then have a trading arrangement with the EU like Australia’s. I want to be absolutely clear that, as we have said right from the start, that would be a good outcome for the UK. As a Government we are preparing, at our borders and at our ports, to be ready for it. We will have full control over our laws, our rules, and our fishing waters. We will have the freedom to do trade deals with every country in the world. And we will prosper mightily as a result.

We will of course always be ready to talk to our EU friends even in these circumstances. We will be ready to find sensible accommodations on practical issues such as flights, lorry transport, or scientific cooperation if the EU wants to do that. Our door will never be closed and we will trade as friends and partners — but without a free trade agreement.

There is still an agreement to be had. We will continue to work hard in September to achieve it. It is one based on our reasonable proposal for a standard free trade agreement like the one the EU has agreed with Canada and so many others. Even at this late stage, if the EU is ready to rethink their current positions and agree, this I will be delighted. But we cannot and will not compromise on the fundamentals of what it means to be an independent country to get it.

- The Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP, №10 Downing Street, 07 Sept 2020

Repudiating the Withdrawal Agreement based on bad faith by the EU

The Withdrawal Agreement negotiated by Remainer Theresa May and her team, led by Remainer civil servant Olly Robbins, was almost exactly the version which Boris Johnson subsequently signed, with the exception of the Northern Ireland Protocol.

There is a great deal wrong with it, as I have reported on consistently since it first saw the light of day. Nevertheless, it does contain a revised clause which has relevance today.

The Treaty obliges both parties — the EU and the UK — to act in good faith to negotiate a trade agreement expeditiously. Given that the EU has refused even to discuss a full trade deal unless the UK first agrees to give up its sovereignty over the UK government’s industrial and state aid policies, its coastal waters, and many of its abilities to make laws independently of the EU, it is perfectly clear that the EU has not been acting in good faith.

The EU has in effect been negotiating to impose a permanent colonial and subordinate status on the United Kingdom. No country in the world would accept this, and it seems unlikely that any international court would find in the EU’s favour if it ever came to that.

One of PM Johnsons ‘get out of jail’ cards

Below is the full text of Article 184 of the Withdrawal Agreement. This was signed and agreed by the EU, yet they have not complied with it in any shape or form.

ARTICLE 184 — Negotiations on the future relationship

The Union and the United Kingdom shall use their best endeavours, in good faith and in full respect of their respective legal orders, to take the necessary steps to negotiate expeditiously the agreements governing their future relationship referred to in the Political Declaration of 17 October 2019 and to conduct the relevant procedures for the ratification or conclusion of those agreements, with a view to ensuring that those agreements apply, to the extent possible, as from the end of the transition period.

Rumours now abound regarding the content of the new Internal Market Bill and Finance Bill which will be presented to Parliament. We shall all know more tomorrow. It is my fervent wish that the Prime Minister stands firm and resolute.

At the time of writing the EU appears to be doubling down on its dictatorial demands for UK subservience. I would remind the fanatical ideologues in Brussels, and in the UK and the governments of the EU27 member countries, of the words of a great British song which is celebrated annually at this time of year.

“Britons never, never, never shall be slaves.”

Sources: France24 | №10 Downing St



Graham Charles Lear

What is life without a little controversy in it? Quite boring and sterile would be my answer.