Normally, ‘read-outs’ on telephone calls between members of the British government and
their counterparts overseas are fairly bland affairs. But today’s one on a conversation between Nick Clegg and the French Prime Minister Francois Fillon is an exception to this rule.
Clegg, we are told, informed the French PM that ‘that recent remarks from members of the French Government about the UK economy were simply unacceptable and that steps should be taken to calm the
rhetoric.’ To be sure, there is some more diplomatic language before and after this (the full text is at the bottom of this post) but the willingness of the deputy Prime Minister to be quite so
sharp with the French is striking especially given the tensions in the coalition over Europe policy these past seven days.
What is certain is that the French cry of pain suggests that they expect to lose their AAA status in the near future. This would make it even harder for the eurozone to assemble any kind of ‘big
Tags: Credit rating, Economy, Europe, Eurozone, France, Nick Clegg, UK politicsThe Deputy Prime Minister spoke this afternoon with French Prime Minister Francois Fillon.
PM Fillon called from Rio de Janeiro to clarify his recent comments about the UK’s credit rating. Fillon made clear it had not been his intention to call into question the UK’s rating but
to highlight that ratings agencies appeared more focused on economic governance than deficit levels.
The Deputy Prime Minister accepted his explanation but made the point that recent remarks from members of the French Government about the UK economy were simply unacceptable and that steps
should be taken to calm the rhetoric. PM Fillon agreed and they both undertook to speak again shortly to discuss economic cooperation.