Speed Reads

not lost in translation

It's time for the French to 'prenez un grip,' says Boris Johnson

Well, it wasn't "le slap," but surely French President Emmanuel Macron will feel it all the same.

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson shared some uniquely-targeted remarks outside the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, in which he appeared to mock the French for their outrage over the submarine deal between the U.S., the U.K., and Australia, Bloomberg reports.

"I just think it's time for some of our dearest friends around the world to prenez un grip about this and donnez-moi un break," Johnson told reporters, blending English and French into one succinct "get over it" message. He added that the deal is "fundamentally a great step forward for global security."

And, as some have pointed out, the bilingual message is made even funnier considering Johnson speaks French fluently.

Paris has been stewing over the three-way defense pact since its announcement last week, calling the new partnership — which renders void an existing deal between France and Australia — a "stab in the back." On Friday, the French ambassadors to both the U.S. and Australia were recalled at the behest of Macron, a decision Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said to be justified by the "exceptional gravity" of the AUKUS announcement.

Johnson reportedly insisted on Wednesday that the agreement is "not exclusive," and is "not trying to shoulder anyone out" — but perhaps he should try saying that in French to really get the message across. Read more at Bloomberg.