As a French-born citizen with dual nationality, Allister Heath is better placed than most to provide an objective assessment on the escalating row between the UK and France which threatens to engulf both sides as negotiations over the Northern Ireland Protocol reach their climax.
The litany of grievances are many and varied according to the UK government, with one common factor behind them all: President Macron:
"British ministers point to a series of events that shattered their faith in Emmanuel Macron’s character and intentions. The worst was the French president’s decision to impose a complete blockade on lorries entering Britain in December last year, after Matt Hancock, then Health Secretary, panicked over the Kent variant.
Britain was between 72 and 90 hours away from catastrophic shortages of food and medicines, ministers say, all inflicted upon us by a country that was supposed to be our ally. It was a reprise of Napoleon Bonaparte’s ultimately ill-fated blocus continental, a traumatic moment that signalled that history hadn’t in fact ended and that nothing ever really changes in geopolitics."