France and England – auld enemies standing firm


La vieille hostilite between France and England always stood in contrast to the Auld Alliance between France and Scotland from the days of Bonnie Prince Charlie. There’s no indication of any softening of the historic enmity in the flurry of diplomacy from Westminster over the past week trying to shift Macron onto a more amenable stance over Brexit. He’s only following in De Gaulle’s footsteps, who despite being given refuge in London during WW11 and British sacrifice to free Occupied France then vetoed UK membership of the EEC twice in the 1960s. De Gaulle said then: “L’Angleterre, ce n’est plus grand chose.” (England is not much any more. ) The French don’t do apologies for sure and clearly not gratitude either.

The France/UK relationship chart is competitive, power struggling and hostile with a composite Sun square Mars and Pluto with Mars Pluto trine Saturn – not much give in the core chemistry; and a fair amount of duplicity and double-speak with a composite Mercury Neptune conjunction.

The pressure is on this year, with outbursts in 2019 as tensions spill over and disappointment looms, stretching into 2020.

Macron’s UK relationship chart is, pretty similar, if not worse. There’s a composite Mars opposition Pluto Mercury in a Half Grand Sextile to Uranus and Saturn. That’s even more stressed and polarised than the De Gaulle/UK chart.

On the Macron/UK chart tr Saturn is conjunct the composite Sun and Ascendant this year for buckets of cold water; and tr Pluto will square the Uranus from late March 2019, when one of the Brexit staging posts is reached, which will start two years of un bouleversement – profound perturbation, violent disruption. All up in the air.

Macron in his exuberant first year was hopeful of stealing the financial sector from London as a prize for Paris, though there’s not much sign of that working out. And his much-vaunted reforms for internal improvements have only made slow headway. The French economy is stuttering, with lower growth than the UK, industrial production and retail sales are falling, and unemployment creeping up again. The corporate tax rates are amongst the highest in the developed world; and the employment laws some of the most restrictive. In technology, on the IMD World Digital Competitiveness ranking for 2018, France dropped from 22nd to 26th place (the UK went up to 10th).

Punishing the UK for Brexit may make sense pour discourager les autres who might have contemplated baling in future. But the French and other EU economies will be hit, maybe less than the UK’s, but they’re not in such great shape they can view additional losses with equanimity.


6 thoughts on “France and England – auld enemies standing firm

  1. 1066 and all that.

    If you don’t understand the Norman Conquest you are never going to understand the history of the relationship of Britain and France right down to how those Three Lions ended up on the shirts of the English football team.

    Some people have suggested tongue in cheek that the first gambit in the EU negotiations should have been Theresa May asking for Normandy and Aquitaine to be returned to the Crown.

  2. There are actual estimates on based on calculations on how Brexit will affect The UK and The EU economy, and really, none of them are anythibg but disastrous on The UK side on short term, while many economies in EU would likely be almost unaffected. IMF calculation, which is extremely hopeful on British side, tells a “Hard Brexit” would amount to a 4 per cent drop in The UK GDP, while there’d be less than a 0.5 per cent drop in France’s GDP. The only EU country to be significatively affected would be Ireland.

    But GDP isn’t everything, and Brexit will be, initially, even more devastating to British Financial Sector than anything else. Brexit is already blocking foreign investments to Britain, because none of the big private or institutional investors who have, BTW, more to invest now than ever (we’re in a strange situation where we experience growth all around The World), comes to so called developed maekets to risk investments. They want a steady return they won’t get from The UK with uncertainty surrounding Brexit. France, on the other hand, looks better than ever. I don’t think anyone really expected En Marche to fix 50 years of State ran economy and make France competitive in a year. Still, they have an ex-investment banker as a President for at least other 5 years. And, apparently, Macron is much better at talking to these investors than the average Frenchmen. Still, the investments he is helping to bring to France, may give him 6 more years as a President in 2023, because it takes time for these to reflect to “real economy”, jobs and GDP, in France.

    Banks relocating to Paris and Paris becoming a financial center only one year to Macron’s term wasn’t realistic, anyway. But, they are leaving London for Frankfurt, Luxembourg and Dublin, still firmly in EU. This will still mean Corporate Taxes paid in EU, rather than The UK.

    So, as said previously, hard times on EU chart or France’s chart (although I think 5th Republic Progression has a signs of France gaining international prestige around 2030) or Germany chart are most likely not Brexit related at all. In fact, I recently read a comment on a political/economic board on The UK Government acting like a defiant teen telling their parents they are leaving house and parents will be so much worse without them. EU leaders, on the other hand, are like parents, they’ve probably already thought about redecorating the said teen’s room and know the said teen will be back for Christmas, asking money. What they are really worried about is not the teen, but their jobs and relationship when the teen is gone.

    • I agree the UK economy will take a considerable hit, on the astrology around 2021 followed by several years slithering around in a swamp of confusion. Economic predictive statistics are notoriously unreliable but the IMF puts the EU as a whole down 1.5%, with UK down 4% depending on what kind of a deal our hapless politicians manage to cobble together, or not as the case may be. I just hope the population is feeling strong enough to institute stocks and a ducking stool post-Brexit to pelt the idiots who didn’t bother to plan or think this through with rotten eggs and mouldy cabbages and dunk them in the Thames.
      Mm, have my doubts about a Macron second term. Tr Saturn is way down below his Ascendant come the next election assuming 2022 with definite ruptures in the Macron/France relationship chart.

      • The EU and Britain are essentially bald men arguing over a comb to quote Jorge Luis Borges. Both are multinational political and economic unions that have probably outlived their purpose and are unable to come to terms with a rapidly changing modern world. The irony is that they are splitting when they have so much dysfunction in common.

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