La vieille hostilite between France and England always stood in contrast to the Auld Alliance between France and Scotland from the days of Bonnie Prince Charlie. There’s no indication of any softening of the historic enmity in the flurry of diplomacy from Westminster over the past week trying to shift Macron onto a more amenable stance over Brexit. He’s only following in De Gaulle’s footsteps, who despite being given refuge in London during WW11 and British sacrifice to free Occupied France then vetoed UK membership of the EEC twice in the 1960s. De Gaulle said then: “L’Angleterre, ce n’est plus grand chose.” (England is not much any more. ) The French don’t do apologies for sure and clearly not gratitude either.
The France/UK relationship chart is competitive, power struggling and hostile with a composite Sun square Mars and Pluto with Mars Pluto trine Saturn – not much give in the core chemistry; and a fair amount of duplicity and double-speak with a composite Mercury Neptune conjunction.
The pressure is on this year, with outbursts in 2019 as tensions spill over and disappointment looms, stretching into 2020.
Macron’s UK relationship chart is, pretty similar, if not worse. There’s a composite Mars opposition Pluto Mercury in a Half Grand Sextile to Uranus and Saturn. That’s even more stressed and polarised than the De Gaulle/UK chart.
On the Macron/UK chart tr Saturn is conjunct the composite Sun and Ascendant this year for buckets of cold water; and tr Pluto will square the Uranus from late March 2019, when one of the Brexit staging posts is reached, which will start two years of un bouleversement – profound perturbation, violent disruption. All up in the air.
Macron in his exuberant first year was hopeful of stealing the financial sector from London as a prize for Paris, though there’s not much sign of that working out. And his much-vaunted reforms for internal improvements have only made slow headway. The French economy is stuttering, with lower growth than the UK, industrial production and retail sales are falling, and unemployment creeping up again. The corporate tax rates are amongst the highest in the developed world; and the employment laws some of the most restrictive. In technology, on the IMD World Digital Competitiveness ranking for 2018, France dropped from 22nd to 26th place (the UK went up to 10th).
Punishing the UK for Brexit may make sense pour discourager les autres who might have contemplated baling in future. But the French and other EU economies will be hit, maybe less than the UK’s, but they’re not in such great shape they can view additional losses with equanimity.