Boris Johnson has reopened the rift with Paris over the Aukus defence and security deal, urging the French to “prenez un grip about this and donnez-moi un break”, after he and Joe Biden discussed deepening the pact.
The UK prime minister was speaking in Washington, where he attended a dinner on Tuesday evening with Scott Morrison after meeting the US president at the White House.
Johnson and Biden talked about extending their cooperation through the pact to cover further issues including safeguarding human rights and promoting free markets – and ruled out inviting more countries to join.
Johnson said: “What I found on Capitol Hill was that they want to populate the agenda with all sorts of other things which matter.”
He cited the need for a western rival to the telecom giant Huawei, which the UK government decided to remove from some parts of the country’s critical infrastructure because of security concerns.
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