Andrew Marr impersonates Emmanuel Macron
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And Baroness Hoey has urged the French President to remember the many people who died liberating France from the Nazis during World War II. The former Labour MP for Vauxhall, who stepped down at the last election and now sits in the House of Lords, hails from Country Antrim and is a graduate of Belfast Royal Academy.
And the committed Brexiteer voiced her deep disapproval in response to remarks attributed to Mr Macron during his conversation with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson yesterday at the G7 summit in Cornwall – specifically his apparent insistence that Northern Ireland was not a part of the UK.
Baroness Hoey told Express.co.uk: “It is quite shocking that the French Leader has so little understanding of what constitutes the UK.
“All he has done is make people in Northern Ireland even more angry at the Protocol.”
Macron should hang his head in shame
Ms Hoey added: “Why should UK citizens in NI be abandoned to EU laws and an EU court and to have no say in those laws?
“Macron should hang his head in shame and remember the thousands of NI men and women who lost their lives fighting for French freedom from the Germans.”
The disagreement was confirmed by the Elysee Palace today, with the story having been covered by among others Daily Express political editor David Maddox.
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A spokesman said: “The president said that Toulouse and Paris were part of a single geographic area and that Northern Ireland was on an island.
“The president wants to highlight that the situation was quite different and that it wasn’t right to draw this kind of comparison.
“He reminded Mr Johnson that the UK’s exit from the EU was a British decision and that it was necessary to stick to the word given.
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“The President then steered the conversation back to the key issues of the G7.”
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab today waded into the row, telling Sky News: “We have serially seen senior EU figures talk about Northern Ireland as if it was some kind of different country to the UK.
“It is not only offensive, it has real-world effects on the communities in Northern Ireland, creates great concern, great consternation.
“Could you imagine if we talked about Catalonia, the Flemish part of Belgium, one of the lander in Germany, northern Italy, Corsica in France as different countries? We need a bit of respect here.”
Mr Johnson is considering extending the current grace period without the consent of Brussels to ensure that sausages and mince can continue to reach Northern Ireland’s shops.
Such a move would enrage Brussels, which would doubtless see it as a breach of the terms of the Northern Ireland Protocol.
Speaking yesterday, he pledged to do “whatever it takes” including using Article 16 of the protocol to act without Brussels’ agreement, which would trigger retaliations from the EU in a dispute which has been dubbed the “sausage war”.
In a likely reference to his conversation with Mr Macron, he added: “I’ve talked to some of our friends here today who do seem to misunderstand that the UK is a single country and a single territory.
“I think they just need to get that into their heads.”
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