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A spokesman for President Macron slammed Prime Minister Theresa May’s rush to blame Russia for the nerve agent attack in Salisbury, saying that, in contrast to the Tories, the French government doesn’t do ‘fantasy politics‘ and that France would wait for “definitive conclusions” before deciding who is to blame.
Macron’s spokesman Benjamin Griveaux also said that “We don’t do fantasy politics. Once the elements are proven, then the time will come for decisions to be made.” and that France would wait for evidence that the “facts were completely true before taking a position.“
France’s latest comments came after they initially condemned the attack and expressed solidarity with Britain. However, their change in stance now echoes the position of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn who also refused to jump to conclusions before being shown definitive evidence, with Corbyn’s spokesman stating yesterday that:
“[T]he right approach is to seek the evidence; to follow international treaties, particularly in relation to prohibited chemical weapons, because this was a chemical weapons attack, carried out on British soil. There are procedures that need to be followed in relation to that.“
Before adding that the public should be rightly skeptical of the government’s rush to judgement, because “I think obviously the government has access to information and intelligence on this matter which others don’t; however, also there’s a history in relation to WMD and intelligence which is problematic to put it mildly.“
Following Corbyn’s refusal to rush to judgement over the attack, many of the usual pro-war Labour Blairites have already penned a letter backing the Tories’ reactionary stance in blaming Russia despite a lack of available evidence – a letter essentially drawn up to condemn the stance of their own leader.
Submitted EDM 1071 with Labour colleagues making clear we unequivocally accept Russia’s culpability in the Salisbury attack and support UK govt action. Others will have chance to sign in coming days. pic.twitter.com/H0wMBZBcKe
— Lord Walney (@LordWalney) March 14, 2018
However, with Macron being an undeniable darling of the Labour right-wing, the French President’s decision to echo Corbyn’s stance on Russia, and not the Blairites’, drew an appropriately amusing reaction from one Corbyn supporter on social media:
Will the Blairites be as quick to denounce Macron for saying much the same thing as Corbyn on Russia?
— Michael Calderbank #ThanksNHS #GTTO (@Calderbank) March 14, 2018
Following the nerve agent incident in Salisbury which left Sergei Skripal, his daughter, and a police officer in critical condition in hospital, the Tories almost immediately concluded that Russia were culpable. Their rush to judgement came despite the fact they had not yet initiated the standard procedures for such an attack as stipulated by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which demands that a sample of the nerve agent used should be sent for independent analysis to ascertain its origin.
Evolve has previously reported that:
Dr Patricia White, who served on the 2004-6 WMD Commission and is now the Research Director for International Security at Chatham House, said that British experts would definitely be able to detect minute trace elements in the Novichok nerve agent used in Salisbury that would prove the country of origin, stating:
“There are very high resolution analysis techniques that can track down trace elements, certain types of chemicals in the particular region where it has been made.
Russia knows there are techniques to pinpoint where something came from” adding that “Whoever did this would know this was traceable back to Russia. So why use such an obvious thing, leaving such an obvious trace?”
And now, finally, Theresa May confirmed in her speech yesterday that he government were working towards this aim, stating they were “working with the police to enable the OPCW to independently verify our analysis.“
And, as the Permanent Representative of the UK to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, Peter Wilson, confirmed the position to obtain definitive evidence, adding that “we are working with the police to enable the OPCW to independently verify our analysis. This horrendous incident is now the subject of a UK criminal investigation, and we have legal obligations as a result to ensure that we share our information only in accordance with the law.“
And, much like Jeremy Corbyn and Emmanuel Macron, Evolve Politics looks forward to reviewing the results of the forthcoming independent analysis so Britain can justifiably move forward with its legitimate response against whomever the perpetrator is proven to have been.
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