Brexit: Britain’s isolationist fervour sorely tests links with France

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Our historic links with our nearest neighbour France have never been so sorely tested as now, when the isolationist fervour of Brexit threatens to strain our relationship with that country.

Returning from a week with our French friends in Montpellier, it was more than clear that most French people of any perception deplore and regret our efforts to disengage ourselves from Europe, especially at a time when the links we have striven to maintain, especially with France, are being disregarded and discarded.

It is good to see that the links we have forged militarily with the French in the interests of European defence are at the very least being maintained despite the threat of Brexit to weaken our joint domestic security linkage.

The Remembrance Day observations carried out jointly in France and Belgium with the respective national leaders in attendance were a sign that those historic relationships are alive, if little recognised and valued in common perceptions here in the UK.

How many people are aware of the magnificent efforts of France in combating German aggression in the First World War, leaving them weakened to resist the Nazi blitzkrieg effectively 20 years later?

We would have been in no greater strength or preparedness than France in resisting the Nazi onslaught in 1940 had we not had the RAF and our island detachment. That situation no longer applies, but we are acting as if it does.

Our French friends cannot understand our wish to tear ourselves away from Europe as we are attempting in utterly confused fashion to do. Neither do I.

Michael Parfect,