Segolene Royal will try to force Britain to choose between being America's closest ally or being at the heart of Europe if she becomes French president, says a close aide.
He stressed that if Britain refuses to back the new drive towards a more powerful EU, France, Germany Spain and Italy could join forces to create a "quartet" to lead Europe.
He said: "Great Britain is absolutely indispensable to the European Union. It is a great nation, a global power.
" But the question the English have to answer is - do the English consider the English Channel to be wider than the Atlantic?
"We on the Continent have the right to deplore the fact that Great Britain appears to consider the Channel wider."
I suppose her aide was afraid that those comments might have seemed a bit too tame, so he lays it on the line with this one.
"The question that needs to be asked is - do we want to be vassals of the United States, do we want to be a 51st state?"After six years of an administration which has effectively treated the EU like a group of unruly children who are to be barely tolerated while we "school" them, it seems that they've had enough of the tip-toe approach to Bush's foreign policy. It's not all that surprising that it's France who decides to step up to the plate and call out the Brits. Sort of a reverse "are you with us or agin' us?" moment.
In a way, I find this rather sad. It's an unfair situation for the people of England to face. I work with quite a few people in England on a regular basis and I don't get the impression that they hate America or Americans in general. They just don't care for George W. Bush and his Iraq policy. Nor are they thrilled with their Prime Minister taking on the role of Bush's willing and subservient lap dog.
The English and the Americans still share many things and have a lot in common. Sadly, one of the most glaring traits we both exhibit is national leaders who are tragically out of touch with the spirit and feelings of the vast majority of their citizens. The Brits shouldn't be forced to choose between the United States and the E.U. It's only Bush's policies that have put them in a position where they may be forced to make such a choice.