France says it wants a ‘new start’ with UK if Truss becomes PM

During leadership campaign, Liz Truss controversially claimed ‘jury was out’ on whether Macron was a friend of the UK

David Harding
Tuesday 06 September 2022 09:14 BST
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Macron hits back at Truss over claim ‘jury out’ on whether he’s friend or foe

France has said it hopes for a “new start” in relations with the UK when the new British prime minister is announced later today.

Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna told RTL radio on Monday she hoped relations would improve when the announcement is made, with Liz Truss widely expected to be Britain’s next leader.

“I do not know if Mrs Truss will be designated. If it is her, let’s hope it is a new start”, Colonna said.

The new prime minister will be declared following a lengthy selection process by the Conservative Party after scandal-ridden Boris Johnson resigned in July, following intense opposition from within the Tory parliamentary party.

Liz Truss is the current British foreign minister and is the clear favourite to win. She is being challenged by former Chancellor Rishi Sunak.

In recent years, relations between Paris and London have been severely tested after Brexit, with the countries clashing on issues such as migration and fishing.

During the leadership race, Truss was widely condemned when she claimed the “jury was still out” after being asked if French president Emmanuel Macron was a “friend or foe” of the UK.

The remark though did seem to go down well with the Tory faithful.

In response, Johnson said the French leader was a “tres bon buddy” of the UK.

Meanwhile, Speaking on RTE, Irish foreign minister Simon Coveney said he was hoping a new British PM could “change the direction of travel” for relations between Dublin and London.

He described Ms Truss as a “talented, very energetic politician”.

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