French Ambassador to the USA, Gérard Araud, called out the Daily Mail as xenophobic, after a columnist described Michel Barnier as a “Britain-hating Gallic popinjay.”

Daily Mail columnist Andrew Pierce, who wrote the piece on the EU chief negotiator, described Barnier as “the Britain-hating Gallic popinjay with an ego the size of an EU butter mountain trying to derail Brexit.”

Araud responded:

Pierce continued his piece by making a bizarre attack on Barnier’s birthplace:

“At 6ft 2in, he is a keen climber, runner and swimmer. His climbing hobby has led French critics to nickname him le cretin des Alpes — a jibe at his origins in south-east France, where 18th-century locals suffered brain damage caused by dietary deficiencies.”


  1. Good comment from Alyn Smith. Unless we want the rest of the world to view us with contempt similar to that which it has for Trump, it would be a good idea if we could manage to cut out the pathetic xenophobia and stop imagining Britain will be great again if only we went back to the days of the Empire.

  2. I should have thought that “Britain-hating Gallic popinjays with egos the size of an EU butter mountain trying to derail Brexit” might be better applied to Messrs Heseltine and Blair,

    Okay, I take back “Gallic”.

  3. My own answer to the Wail is simply never to read it. And I do remember when it was not such a bad rag : about 1966

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