The Brexit Blog

The Brexit Blog
News and comment on the Brexit process, as Britain tries to leave the EU.

Monday 1 November 2021

Lost in Translation - The Language of Diplomacy


There once was a time when French was known as the language of diplomacy.

Over the weekend a letter penned by the French PM Jean Castex (with his hand guided by Macron) to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen wrt the fishing dispute, caused something of a diplomatic meltdown between France and Britain.

Various journalists, academics and pro/anti Brexit bods spent the weekend arguing over the last sentence of the letter. Specifically whether it was a threat to punish Britain for leaving the EU, or whether it was that people need to be made aware that there are downsides to leaving he EU.

In reality either "translation" means in effect the same thing. Given that French was the language of diplomacy, Castex knew full well what he was saying; namely:

Pour encourager les autres!

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