Saturday, 19 Sep 2020

Emmanuel Macron visit: Fury as Boris meeting held during lockdown ‘How’s this happening?!’

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Mr Macron will be received by Charles and Camilla at Clarence House and hold talks with Mr Johnson in Downing Street. But some people took to social media to question why the visit was going ahead during the coronavirus lockdown.

One Twitter user said: “How is it that Macron is visiting today? And no quarantine? He will also go inside Downing Street and meet Boris and Prince Charles and Camilla….how can that be happening? Is it just me?”

Another wrote: “Can someone explain to me why it’s OK for Prince Charles and Camilla to break the law and travel from Scotland to London to meet Macron. One law for them.”

A third added: “I heard on the radio this morning that President Macron is coming to the UK to see Boris today. He doesn’t have to follow quarantine rules. I am fuming.”

Another commented: “How is this allowed to happen? Why can Macron travel and Camilla and Charles socialise when the rest of the country are not!!!????”

A fifth posted: “Confused why president macron is coming over for a non essential visit and within the UK extend families can’t attend funerals.”

One more said: “Charles & Camilla are to leave Scotland, travel to London to meet Macron from France – Isn’t he supposed to quarantine for 2 weeks on arrival ?? 1 rule for the elite another rule for the plebs!!”

Mr Macron is visiting London to mark the 80th anniversary of his predecessor Charles de Gaulle’s “Appel” – a BBC broadcast to occupied France following the Nazi invasion in 1940.

He will also bestow France’s highest order of merit, the Legion d’Honneur, on London.

A spokesman for the Prime Minister previously said the French President would not be subject to the 14-day quarantine rule.

The spokesman said: “As we set out in the guidelines when they were published, the French delegation will fall within the exempted category of representatives of a foreign country or territory travelling to undertake business in the UK.”

The two leaders are set to discuss the UK’s two-week quarantine for all arrivals amid reports that Mr Macron will call on the Government to scrap the policy.

They will also view artefacts documenting General de Gaulle’s time in London and his partnership with Sir Winston Churchill.

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The statue of Britain’s wartime leader in Parliament Square was uncovered on Wednesday evening ahead of the French president’s arrival.

It had been boarded up after being targeted by protesters.

Mr Johnson and Mr Macron will watch a flypast of the Red Arrows and their French equivalent La Patrouille de France.

The Prime Minister said: “Eighty years ago, Charles de Gaulle, the leader of the French Resistance, arrived in London knowing that the values of freedom, tolerance and democracy that Britain and France shared were under threat.

“He pledged that we would stand together to defend those values and protect our citizens from those bent on destroying us.

“The four men we are honouring today – Pierre, Edgard, Daniel and Hubert – symbolise the enduring depth and strength of the friendship between our two countries.

“They are heroes, and I am immensely proud that, as a nation, we are paying tribute to their courage and sacrifice in defending us and the whole world from fascism.

“The struggles we face today are different to those we confronted together 80 years ago. But I have no doubt that – working side by side – the UK and France will continue to rise to every new challenge and seize every opportunity that lies ahead.”

Charles and Camilla are said to be “pleased” to be welcoming Mr Macron to Britain.

Clarence House said in a statement: “The President of the French Republic will visit London on Thursday 18th June 2020 to celebrate the 80th Anniversary of General de Gaulle’s ‘Appel’ to the French population to resist the German occupation of France during WWII.

“On behalf of Her Majesty’s Government, Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will formally receive President Emmanuel Macron at Clarence House with a Guard of Honour found by Number 7 Company Coldstream Guards accompanied by the Band of the Coldstream Guards.”

A Clarence House spokeswoman said Government guidelines on social distancing would be followed and part of the welcome would be staged in the open air.

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