UK News: Britain joins Germany in criticising Macron's Mercosur threat - PressFrom - United Kingdom
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UK NewsBritain joins Germany in criticising Macron's Mercosur threat

21:05  24 august  2019
21:05  24 august  2019 Source:   reuters.com

Macron spearheads pressure on Bolsonaro over Amazon fires

Macron spearheads pressure on Bolsonaro over Amazon fires France's Emmanuel Macron led a growing wave of international pressure on Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro over the fires raging in the Amazon rainforest Friday, telling him Paris would block efforts to seal a major trade deal. The issue will be high on the agenda when global leaders meet for the G7 summit Saturday in the French resort of Biarritz, where they are also set to tackle global trade wars and the Iran nuclear standoff. Just days before hosting the summit, Macron called for urgent talks on the "international crisis" in the world's largest rainforest, saying leaders would hammer out "concrete measures" to tackle it.

MERCOSUR full potential is immeasurable and can be found in the most diverse areas. Its territory of almost 15 million km² consists of a great variety of natural wealth and treasures which humanity possesses: water, biodiversity, energy resources and fertile lands. Its greatest asset, nevertheless, is

Methinks Monsieur Macron doth protest too much. As he’s so adamant about France’s independence from the whims of Washington, it would be interesting to hear his Macron ’ s France is proud and delusional enough to believe it’s big enough to act as a counter-balance to the Germans , but it’s not.

Britain joins Germany in criticising Macron's Mercosur threat © Reuters/CHRISTIAN HARTMANN G7 summit in Biarritz

By William James and Michel Rose

BIARRITZ, France (Reuters) - Britain joined Germany on Saturday in criticising French President Emmanuel Macron's decision to block a trade deal between the European Union and the Mercosur group of southern American countries to pressure Brazil on Amazon forest fires.

Britain joins Germany in criticising Macron's Mercosur threat © Reuters/POOL G7 summit in Biarritz

In a surprise statement on Friday, Macron said he had decided to block the EU-Mercosur deal and accused Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro of lying in playing down concerns about climate change.

After landing in the seaside French resort of Biarritz, where Macron is hosting a summit of G7 countries, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson criticised the decision, a day after German Chancellor Angela Merkel's office did the same in Berlin.

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Chancellor Angela Merkel believes the European Union should ratify its trade deal with the Mercosur countries and Emmanuel Macron ’ s threat to block the accord won’t help protect the Amazon jungle, a German government spokesman said. The French leader on Friday said he won’t approve the

However Germany ’s government distanced itself from Mr Macron ’ s threat , saying that not to ratify a deal with Mercosur “would not lead to less rainforest in Brazil being cleared” and would “not be the appropriate response to what is currently happening in Brazil”. Earlier, Mr Bolsonaro accused the

Britain joins Germany in criticising Macron's Mercosur threat © Reuters/DYLAN MARTINEZ G7 summit in Biarritz

"There are all sorts of people who will take any excuse at all to interfere with trade and to frustrate trade deals and I don't want to see that," Johnson told reporters.

Late on Friday, a spokesman for Merkel said not concluding the trade deal with the Mercosur countries of Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay was "not the appropriate answer to what is happening in Brazil now."

"The non-conclusion of the Mercosur agreement would not help to reduce forest destruction in Brazil," the spokesman added.

An official at Macron's office said the French leader had later explained his position to Merkel. "It is something the president explained to the Chancellor so she understands the position he took yesterday and that's something she understood very well," the official said.

The Latest: Boris Johnson touches down for his first G-7

The Latest: Boris Johnson touches down for his first G-7 BIARRITZ, France (AP) — The Latest on the Group of Seven summit (all times local): 3:10 p.m. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has touched down in the French seaside resort of Biarritz for his first Group of Seven summit, a gathering where he will meet U.S. President Donald Trump for the first time. The meeting between the two men is expected to be crucial as Johnson prepares to pull Britain out of the European Union. Johnson spoke earlier

Brexit Britain ’ s new master: Donald Trump. The Mercosur deal has proved especially politically toxic in both France and Ireland because both countries have important beef farming constituencies that feel threatened by waves of cheap imports Macron opposes Mercosur deal over Bolsonaro forest ‘lie’.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday challenged Britain to come up with alternatives to the Irish border backstop within 30 days, but French President Emmanuel Macron cautioned there would be no renegotiation of the Brexit deal.

On Thursday, Macron and U.N. Secretary General António Guterres expressed concerns about wildfires raging through the Amazon, but Bolsonaro responded angrily to what he regarded as meddling.

Macron's office said on Friday Bolsonaro's decisions in the last few weeks showed he had decided not to respect climate commitments he made to France at the last G20 summit in Osaka, Japan. "The president can only conclude that President Bolsonaro lied to him during the Osaka summit," the Elysee added.

Bolsonaro has rejected what he calls foreign interference in domestic affairs in Brazil, where vast tracts of the Amazon rainforest are ablaze in what is known as the burning season. He said the army could be sent to help fight the fires.

Environmentalists have blamed deforestation for an increase in fires and accuse the right-wing president of relaxing protection of a vast carbon trap and climate driver that is crucial to combating global climate change.

France has long expressed reservations about the Mercosur deal, with Macron warning in June he would not sign it if Bolsonaro pulled out of the Paris climate accord.

France has been worried about the impact on its vast agriculture industry of South American imports that would not have to respect strict EU environmental regulations.

(Additional reporting by Andreas Rinke, Marine Pennetier and Simon Carraud; Editing by Leigh Thomas and Ros Russell)

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