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Britain, France and the US (towards a new balance) -by @tunkuv

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Move over Britain, France is America’s ‘special’ friend

With Brexit, the UK has lost its global heft and its usefulness to Washington.


Emmanuel Macron has been to Washington. He had a rollicking time with Donald Trump and delivered a speech so fine to the U.S. Congress that many Americans wished that he were president of the United States — and not just because he speaks better English. (It would be fair to say, in fact, that Macron speaks the best English of any French head of state since Napoleon III.)

Macron’s American admirers are mostly Democrats, lacking decent leadership of their own. Even so, for a visiting president to have captured a notable section of the American imagination in the way Macron did is remarkable. To be sure, his charisma and charm are augmented by a contrast with President Trump. But his impact is also due to a recognition that — as president of France — he is now the face of the real “special relationship” in American foreign policy.

The U.S. has long enjoyed — if that verb is allowed to embrace both turbulence and harmony — a relationship of doughty equals with the French. As much as Britain may insist otherwise, America’s partnership with the U.K. appears to have run its course and is, as the British themselves might put it, totally knackered.


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