NEW British Prime Minister, Theresa May, continued to check in with other European leaders on Thursday, July 21, although in the case of Spain she had to make do with a phone call to Mariano Rajoy, the acting premier.
The two leaders were apparently in full agreement that no Spanish or British citizen resident in either country should be ‘harmed’ by the Brexit process, in an exchange which was described as “cordial and constructive” in the Spanish press.
Spain’s interim government had already communicated its congratulations to May via a telegram, presenting themselves as “a loyal friend of the British Government and people” and wished her “every success at a decisive time for the two countries and the future of Europe.”
The dialogue followed her earlier joint press conference with her French counterpart, François Hollande, who made it clear that free trade depends on free movement, which will disappoint Boris Johnson and his ilk, but appeared to relax his earlier stance that the dreaded Article 50 be invoked quickly, as he said he “understood the government that has just been formed needs this time.”
They also confirmed that both countries intend to maintain the UK border checks in Calais that Remain campaigners had said would be in jeopardy, as May said: “We have discussed the Le Touquet agreement, and President Hollande and indeed interior minister [Bernard] Cazeneuve have both been very clear from their point of view that they wish the Le Touquet agreement to stay. I want the Le Touquet agreement to stay.”