Boris Johnson has dismissed French anger about the Australian submarines deal, insisting Emmanuel Macron should “get a grip”.
The Prime Minister used Franglais as he urged “some of our dearest friends” to calm down over the issue.
The Australia-UK-US Aukus pact saw Sydney decide to pursue the development of nuclear-powered submarines at the expense of a deal with France to provide diesel-electric boats.
The diplomatic fallout has seen France recall its ambassadors from Australia and the US and postpone high-level meetings.
Speaking to reporters in Washington, the Prime Minister said: “I just think it’s time for some of our dearest friends around the world to prenez un grip (get a grip) about this and donnez-moi un break (give me a break).
“Because this is fundamentally a great step forward for global security. It’s three very like-minded allies standing shoulder-to-shoulder, creating a new partnership for the sharing of technology.
“It’s not exclusive. It’s not trying to shoulder anybody out. It’s not adversarial towards China, for instance.”