Moment Philip May tells Emmanuel Macron his ceremonial cannon is to 'stop the English' — risking diplomatic gaffe

The risqué remark came as he was given a tour with his wife Theresa May around Emmanuel Macron’s Riviera official retreat.

The PM ended her holiday in Italy early to fly to Fort de Brégançon to plead with Mr Macron to give her softer Brexit plan a chance.

But Mr May risked darkening the mood by raising the spectre of the long Napoleonic wars as Mr Macron and wife Brigitte took them up to the fort’s ramparts.

Spotting the antique weapon, financier Mr May said: “Ah, a cannon – to stop the English”.
But Mrs Macron swiftly replied: “No, it’s not for England”.

During the tour, Mr Macron also told the couple a risqué joke about how former French president Jacques Chirac once opened a window of the fort while naked, only to be caught by a morass of waiting photographers outside.

Embarrassed Mrs May didn’t respond, but just raised her hands.

After talks with officials for an hour, the two couples had a five course roof top dinner of tomatoes and saffron flavoured langoustines, thyme flavoured sea bass, chicken with vegetables, cheese and dark chocolate creme brûlée.

France is Mrs May’s toughest opponent in the Brexit talks.

Mr Macron insists on holding the EU holding the hardline to refuse her Chequers plan by claiming it would undermine Brussels’ founding four freedoms.

Downing Street kept tight lipped about the pair’s discussion.

But the PM was expected to deploy her own political weakness as a negotiating tool, warning she has no political room left because of the huge Tory revolt over her Chequers plan.

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