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Anglo-French affairs

It should have been a punch-up. On both sides of the channel the papers were stuffed with accounts of the Blair-Chirac row. A Franco-British summit had just been postponed. Even the Eurostar had broken down. Against this unpromising background, top officials from Britain and France assembled in the palatial splendour of the British embassy in Paris for a seminar on Franco-British relations, sponsored by the Centre for European Reform under its estimable leader, Charles Grant.

Yet anyone expecting broken crockery or shattered champagne flutes was disappointed. Aside from nervous jokes about “le timing” of the meeting, the discussions…

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