Blog: Queen’s memory warms relations between Macron and Truss as PM opens Brexit crunch talks – Express

Liz Truss and President Macron put aside their differences as she stressed the need for a “constructive relationship” combatting Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and unauthorised migrant crossings of the Channel in small boats. The comments followed Ms Truss joking during the leadership election that ther “jury is out” on whether Macron is an ally of the UK. But she met Mr Macron at a United Nations summit in New York today, Tuesday, September 20, as she also looked to resolve the continuing Brexit row with the EU over Northern Ireland and fishing rights.

In a readout provided by Downing Street after the meeting, the “warmth” of the relationship between Ms Truss and President Macron was emphasised after his response to Queen Elizabeth II’s death and appearance at the funeral appeared to help the two sides reconcile their differences.

The readout noted: “The Prime Minister thanked President Macron for his kind words following the passing of Her Late Majesty The Queen and they reflected on the warmth of international feeling towards His Majesty The King.”

They also found common ground over their desire to push for support for Ukraine, even though France has so far only trained 40 troops.

The readout noted: “The leaders welcomed the impressive advances made by the Ukrainian Armed Forces in recent days. They agreed on the importance of Ukraine’s friends and allies staying the course and supporting the country militarily, economically and politically.

“As our people face a difficult winter with huge uncertainty of energy supply and the cost of living, the Prime Minister and President Macron underscored the importance of working together to end reliance on Russian energy and strengthen energy security. We must continue to demonstrate to Putin that his economic blackmail over energy and food supplies will not succeed.”

It added: “The leaders agreed to enhance UK-France cooperation on energy to reduce volatility in the market and cut costs for households.

“The Prime Minister and President looked forward to strengthening our partnership with France and other likeminded European nations, including through the G7 and NATO.”

Her talks with Mr Macron, and with European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen, are likely to feature the post-Brexit legislation on Northern Ireland.

Ms Truss will meet Mr Macron this afternoon, before seeing Mr Biden and Ms von der Leyen on Wednesday.

She had been set to talk to the US President in Britain over the weekend as he visited for the Queen’s funeral, but the meeting was postponed.

Downing Street has maintained the position on the controversial Northern Ireland Protocol Bill, which the EU and others say will break international law.

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With the US President deeply proud of his Irish heritage, he may seek assurances Ms Truss’s plans will not impact the peace process.

On Ukraine, Ms Truss is seeking to rally nations to end energy dependence on Vladimir Putin’s Russia as she commits to fresh spending supporting Volodymyr Zelensky’s resistance.

She pledged to spend at least £2.3 billion next year on military aid helping Ukraine – matching or exceeding the total spent in 2022.

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