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‘Donnez-moi un break,’ UK’s Boris Johnson tells France after submarine deal

Hours ahead of a phone call between US President Joe Biden and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, the British premier told France it was time to move on.

Published: Updated:

Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson used French sayings to seemingly mock France on Wednesday over its recent outrage due to a submarine deal between Australia, Washington and London.

Tensions have boiled over the last week following Australia’s announcement that it was pulling out of a multi-billion dollar deal with the French for diesel-powered submarines.

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The new deal struck between Australia, the UK and the US will see nuclear submarines purchased by Canberra as part of a new alliance to secure the Indo-Pacific and push back against China.

Europe, and France mainly, were left fuming after the deal left out EU nations. France called the move a “stab in the back” and recalled its ambassadors to the US and Australia.

Hours ahead of a phone call between US President Joe Biden and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, the British premier told France it was time to move on.

“I just think it’s time for some of our dearest friends around the world to prennez un grip about all this and donnez-moi un break because this is fundamentally a great step forward for global security,” he told reporters in Washington.

Johnson added: “It’s [the deal] not trying to shoulder anybody out. It’s not adversarial towards China, for instance.”

Read more: German FM calls US submarine actions ‘irritating,’ ‘disappointing’