Thu, 25 Nov 2021 17:55:28 GMT
Analysis: The deaths of 27 refugees have prompted both sides to revert to centuries-old sniping – but neither dares go too far
Writing in Le Monde this week Julian Barnes, the novelist and chronicler of British French relations, said both sides found it “easy to slip into the role of accuser or affronted victim”, often trading on decades or even centuries-old outdated stereotypes of one another.
After 27 people died in the Channel, those stereotypes are in full view, and however much each side says it will rise above the blame game, or in Emmanuel Macron’s phrase “instrumentalise” the migrant crisis, it is almost impossible to resist sniping. The possibility that the simmering, adjacent, dispute about post-Brexit fishing licences will finally explode with a blockade of Calais this weekend only adds to the sense that this is a relationship on the edge of nervous breakdown.