'Northern Ireland is NOT part of Britain!' France hits back at Boris as Brexit row erupts

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The French President is accused of claiming Northern Ireland is a separate country to the United Kingdom in a tense bilateral meeting with Boris Johnson yesterday morning.

Mr Johnson has warned customs checks on goods introduced on goods travelling to Northern Ireland across the Irish Sea effectively places a border throughout the United Kingdom.

A UK source says the Prime Minister tried to explain the issues by asking Mr Macron to imagine checks on goods travelling from Toulouse to Paris.

The French President is said to have responded by saying the issue was different as Toulouse and Paris were one country.

Mr Johnson was left shocked and staggered at the ignorance, raging to the media afterwards “the UK is a single country and a single territory” and the EU “just need to get that into their heads”.

Hitting back at the remarks this morning, a French diplomatic source said: “I’m certain the Prime Minister knows that Northern Ireland is not part of Great Britain.”

While Great Britain refers to the mainland of England, Scotland, and Wales, the United Kingdom refers to the mainland plus Northern Ireland as one single country and economic area.

“The president said that Toulouse and Paris were part of a single geographic area and that Northern Ireland was on an island,” the Elysee Palace added.

“The president wants to highlight that the situation was quite different and that it wasn’t right to draw this kind of comparison.”

More to follow…

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