Hop off Froggies!

Mrs May used her first appearance at the European Council to reject a demand by the EU to conduct Brexit talks in French.

Not that they thought it would actually happen. Just thought they’d try it on for a laugh I suppose.

24 thoughts on “Hop off Froggies!”

  1. Well, quite. Can you imagine the Germans and the Flemish-Belgians and the eastern europeans going in for that?

    Mais non, mes gars.

  2. Actually, I think it would have been better politics to say “OK, no problem” and then sit back with some popcorn and watch the rest of the EU scramble to backtrack since it’s unworkable.

  3. It wouldn’t even cause a sweat. Far from unworkable, every country in Europe will have plenty of suitable bilingual diplomats. Do you think the British Embassy in France works only in English? That all those EU staff are monolingual despite working in Strasbourg?

    Now doing it in Bulgarian might cause issues.

  4. Threaten them with another referendum. Far from risking the Brexit vote being overturned, the actions of EU officialdom and their pronouncements only further reinforce the case.

    Every day they give the Vote Leave camp a boost. Keep it up and the vote to leave would eventually reach stratospheric heights. Not 52:48 but 65:35.

  5. I’m surprised you’ve not picked up on the story of a part of Belgium scuppering years of trade negotiations with Canada. I bet the Slovenes and Estonians are chuffed with that. Why isn’t the Establishment upset about that? Are they not Little Belgianers? Ah yes: the Walloons are socialists. That’s why.

  6. I rather thought the best sport would be to agree and proceed to conduct them in the very worst french possible.

  7. I mis-pronounce bonjoor (!) any time I can, I have the hope that some Frenchman somewhere chokes when I do it…

  8. One of the ways I like winding up my French managers is, having learned the language – at company expense – well enough to conduct meetings etc. in French and passing the test confirming I can, stubbornly sticking to English. Otherwise, outside of work, I’m quite happy to speak French.

  9. Tim N
    According to the Walloon on Swiss radio yesterday, they aren’t objecting to the trade deal, they are objecting to the EU tacking some political deal on to the trade. I’m maybe less passionate about Canada and Wallonia than I should be, so that’s all I know.

  10. stubbornly sticking to English

    I’ve found that if I start with French in a restaurant, the staff will reply in English.

    If I start with English, then it’s shrugs all round.

  11. @ Jack C
    Yes, I always start in my schoolboy French as it’s only good manners to do so. Anyone who can speak English responds in English. So brownie points for manners and conversation in English: win-win. If they can’t speak English then no point trying to use it.

  12. I’ve found that if I start with French in a restaurant, the staff will reply in English.

    They quit doing that with me some time ago. A proud moment. 🙂

  13. Had to marvel at the BBC article that claimed this was another example of why Brexit was bad idea.
    Historically French was the language of diplomacy so maybe they were just feeling nostalgic

  14. English, French and German are the three official “working languages” of the EU Commission, though most work is apparently done in English and French. Another 21 languages are officially recognised; and Irish is recognised only as a language into which treaties must be translated. Each member state can nominate only one language as its national language. Will the Republic of Ireland nominate English, dropping Irish, after the UK departs?

  15. @Richard, October 22, 2016 at 8:49 am
    “We should have responded by sending Boris to give a speech in Latin.”

    Richard wins thread.

  16. When French tourists go to Germany they speak English, but sometimes the Germans manage to speak French back to them.

    Not talking about Switzerland although the German of the Francophone Swiss also sucks.

  17. So Much For Subtlety

    It is a shame that so many Tories have been so well educated. Well, perhaps that is not the right word. Taught to speak proper anyway. Because I would love the idea of sending some of Glasgow’s finest to negotiate for Britain. Someone ripped from the Black Hills, Yorkshire’s Dales, hell, a Somerset apple farm.

    Let’s see the Germans try to translate that.

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