derouler le tapis rouge

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Well here we go again, ding ding, round two.

Before he’d even uttered his closing words about a Euro in-out vote Mr. Cameron was being heckled from across the Channel. M Laurent Fabius the French Foreign Minister speaking on the radio station France Info said “Si la Grande Bretagne décide de quitter l’Europe, nous déroulerons aux hommes d’affaire le tapis rouge”  or in other words, they’ll roll out the red carpet for British Business.

A reference no doubt to the comments made last year by Cameron regarding the French Corrective Finance Bill or as we all know it the 75% tax take on those earning €1m+ where he offered to roll out the red carpet for French Business.  Saying they could pay for the British Health Service, Schools and everything else, so completely realistic then eh Mr. Cameron?  No, I didn’t think so.

During the interview M Fabius pointed out that Europe is not “a la carte”, its a set menu, the members cannot choose which bits they want and which bits they don’t.  Well the French may be playing football and they may think the Brits are playing rugby but heck they’re both team games so it would seem the war of the metaphor is about as enlightening as the red carpet digs.

Anyway my plaudits go to M Michel Sapin the French Ministre du Travail who suggested that rolling out a red (or any other colour for that matter) carpet over the Channel might get it wet.

All this said, countries do actually pick and choose in reality on so many things and as far as I can tell always based on National rather than EU interest; just have a look at the Common Agricultural Policy and try to work out if it applies equally to all nations.  No, you don’t think its applied evenly across the EU?  Well perhaps not but the history of the CAP is based on French farmers concerns regarding keeping produce local so limiting the amount and ensuring a high price and to be honest I don’t mind paying if what I’m getting is authentic.

Long may these exchanges continue, highly entertaining I think.

The EU will almost certainly benefit from more integration but it’s gotta keep localized production processes to make the very most of the range and quality of food, drink, clothing, cars and any other product produced in a specialized way. Why would anybody want Bordeaux wine made anywhere else but Bordeaux?

M Sapin, I’m with you, wet carpets aren’t much fun and a devil to get dry.  After all with an ENS education he’s a clever chap.


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