Macron visits London to mark de Gaulle’s WW2 resistance call and talk Brexit

LONDON (Reuters) – French President Emmanuel Macron visited London on Thursday for a ceremony to mark the 80th anniversary of General de Gaulle’s call for wartime resistance, and to discuss Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic with Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

French President Emmanuel Macron gestures as he meets Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson at Downing Street in London, Britain, June 18, 2020. REUTERS/Hannah McKay/Pool

It is Macron’s first trip outside France and one of the most high-profile visits by a foreign leader since countries across the globe imposed lockdowns to curb the coronavirus.

The main focus for Macron was to mark De Gaulle’s “Appel” of June 18, 1940, a radio address he made to the French nation from BBC headquarters in London calling for resistance to the Nazi occupation of France during World War Two. [nL8N2DU5VH]

However, it also means Macron and Johnson can hold face-to-face talks on responses to the pandemic, including Britain’s 14-day quarantine of travellers from abroad, as well as post-Brexit negotiations.

Britain left the European Union on Jan. 31 but talks have so far made little progress on a new free trade deal by the end of the year, when a status-quo transition arrangement ends.

Johnson and EU leaders say a deal is achievable, but both sides say time is running out and the prospect of a no-deal outcome remains. [nL8N2DU4ZM] [nL8N2DS40A]

“We’ve agreed on both sides to energise and intensify the talks, we don’t want to hang aro

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