PM urges Macron not to worry about military alliance amid diplomatic feud

The alliance is said to have angered France.

Boris Johnson has told French president Emmanuel Macron not to “worry” about the new military alliance forged between the UK, US and Australia, despite it having sparked an extraordinary diplomatic row with France.

The Prime Minister insisted Anglo-French relations were “ineradicable” on Sunday after France suggested the UK was a lapdog to Joe Biden’s White House during a verbal attack.

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At a glance: 5 key points

  • Dubbed Aukus, a new military agreement brokered last week will see the UK and US cooperate to develop a new fleet of nuclear-powered submarines for the Australian navy.
  • The deal is said to have enraged France as Australia announced it was pulling out of a £30 billion agreement with the French to supply it with less-capable conventionally-powered diesel-electric vessels.
  • In a virtually unprecedented step among allies, Mr Macron ordered the recall of the French ambassadors to Washington and Canberra.
  • No such step followed for London, and France’s Europe Minister Clement Beaune suggested it was because the UK was the “junior partner” which had accepted its “vassalisation” by the US.
  • Ahead of a trip to the United States, Boris Johnson insisted no damage had been done to UK-French relations.

What’s been said

Johnson insisted Britain and France have a “very friendly relationship”, which he described as being of “huge importance”.

“Our love of France is ineradicable,” he told reporters travelling with him on the RAF Voyager to New York, where he will take part in the United Nations General Assembly.

“Aukus is not in any way meant to be zero-sum, it’s not meant to be exclusionary. It’s not something that anybody needs to worry about and particularly not our French friends.”


The new Aukus agreement will see the UK and US co-operate to develop a new fleet of nuclear-powered submarines for the Australian navy.

The pact has been widely seen as an attempt to counter the growing military assertiveness of China in the Indo-Pacific region.

Additional reporting by PA.

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