After her battering in Birmingham at the Tory party conference, Liz Truss had a rather better day in Prague on Thursday meeting her fellow statesmen at the inaugural meeting of the European Political Community

Though keen to emphasise her decision to attend was “not about moving closer to Europe”, Truss was obviously eager to reset relations and finally gave the thumbs up to President Macron that he is most definitely a friend after her rather silly comments that the jury is out on whether he is “friend or foe.”

As though anyone every doubted it. Given nearly every European nation apart from Russia and Belarus was in attendance, snubbing the occasion would put Truss in the company of some rather unsavoury characters. 

Discussions between the 44 heads of state who were present on energy, migration and security were seen as being positiive, with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky attending via video link. Yet Macron was unfairly mocked for calling for “une intimite strategique” – loosely translated as “ strategic intimacy” between nations. While the French may suggest – well, something more intimate – the translation is that he suggests a desire for closer relations.

And so they have. After a meeting “in the margins” of the summit, Macron and Truss have agreed to hold a UK-France summit in France next year. The focus? Energy security, unsurprisingly. With staunch support for the nuclear power station at Sizewell, the two nations want to pursue a shared approach to reducing dependency on Russian hydro-carbons. And the sticky subject of migrants. Britain and France aimed to prioritise sanctioning criminals trafficking vulnerable people, with their respective interior ministers concluding a package of agreements this autumn. 

Yet realpolitik lurked in the shadows of Prague Castle where guests dined on sea bass paired with a 2008 Chardonnay, followed by a main of venison backstrap, calf shank confit and 2018 Frankovka wine, with meringues for desert. Macron’s pledge to strike a deal with the UK on EU-wide migration is seen, according to senior French officials, as conditional on her backing down on the Northern Ireland protocol, which the UK  is trying to rewrite. Given so much of Truss’ support came from her willingness to make changes to the protocol, backing down seems unlikely. Let’s hope this new found intimacy proves fruitful.