Great Britain

'Clueless!' Britons rage as France says Northern Ireland not part of UK in Brexit swipe

Macron says he knows ‘very well’ about British sovereignty

Frictions over the Northern Ireland Protocol have ramped up tensions between the UK and EU in recent days. Boris 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 the two cities cited were in 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."

Emmanuel Macron attacked by Britons over NI comment

Emmanuel Macron attacked by Britons over NI comment (Image: Getty)

French President Emmanuel Macron

French President Emmanuel Macron (Image: Getty)

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.

One Express.co.uk reader said: "Lol the EU and Remainers thought Northern Ireland was separate from the UK.

"This is the level of intelligence we are dealing with people.

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Emmanuel Macron and Boris Johnson at the G7 Summit

Emmanuel Macron and Boris Johnson at the G7 Summit (Image: Getty)

"No wonder their vaccine rollout out was a disaster."

A second reader commented: "The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

"Now just WHAT is difficult for the French to understand?

"Of course to understand anything their leaders would need a brain cell between them."

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Five key moments that led to Brexit

Five key moments that led to Brexit (Image: Express)

A third added: "This just shows how ignorant the EU representatives are when dealing with the negotiations on this Brexit divorce.

"They have no clue on NI, its people its history, its requirements, its relationship to UK, how it is governed, probably even where it is on the map. etc. etc. the list goes.

"They are clueless and it goes down from Macron."

A fourth Express.co.uk reader said: "As per usual Macron is completely wrong.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson

Prime Minister Boris Johnson (Image: Getty)

"And I think the vast majority of the population of Northern Ireland would agree with me."

Others pointed out whether Corsica is part of France under Mr Macron's logic.

One person said: "So Corsica is not part of France!!!!

"He's a blithering idiot."

Emmanuel Macron and Boris Johnson

Emmanuel Macron and Boris Johnson (Image: Getty)

Another reader commented: "Macron is an absolute disgrace for saying that.

"I’d of thrown him out. Disgusting."

"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."

Blaming the UK for the issues in trade between Britain and Northern Ireland, the source said Mr Macron claimed disruption to trade was a consequence of Brexit.

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