EMMANUEL Macron is trying to overpower Boris Johnson with an “alpha display” after the two leaders clashed over fishing, a body language expert has said.
The French President’s approach to the PM has been compared to someone “taking the moral high ground” after catching their partner cheating.
He locked Boris with an “icy stare of distain” and a grin like “the shark in Jaws” as the pair met at the COP26 in Glasgow today.
But the PM isn’t backing down and struck back with his own “strong man” stance, according to body language expert Judi James.
She added there was also evidence that his famed comic skills was helping to break the ice with the famously frosty French president.
The two leaders were snapped greeting each other at today’s climate summit amid a tense standoff over fishing licences.
Mr Macron is threatening to disrupt cross-Channel trade and clobber British trawlermen from tomorrow if Boris doesn’t back down.
But foreign secretary Liz Truss today said there’s no way the PM will “roll over” and give the French president what he wants.
The blazing row is threatening to overshadow COP26 and drag Britain and the EU into a full-blown trade war.
Ms James said the boiling tensions between the two sides were on display in both leaders’ body language today.
She said: “Macron’s current body language stance seems to be that of someone who has caught their partner cheating and is riding the temporary power surge that comes from taking the high moral ground.
“His grin as he saw Boris in Rome bore a strong resemblance to the expression of the shark in Jaws as it rose out of the water, more a predatory baring of the teeth than a social pleasantry.
“Here he adopts what looks like the icy stare of distain, standing oddly to attention with his chest puffed and his arms at his sides like a security guard outside a nightclub.
“It’s an alpha display of body splaying and Boris’s response looks to be in a similar vein.”
Analysing snaps of the meeting she said Boris is “flexing one bicep” and forming a fist in “a gesture recognisable by anyone getting into a fight”.
But elsewhere she says the PM adopts a more “conciliatory look” as though he’s trying to talk Mr Macron around without further confrontation.
His sales pitch appeared to be falling on deaf ears though.
Ms James said: “Macron sustains the expressionless eye-gaze though and his folded arms make it look as though he’s not buying whatever idea Boris is selling.
“This is a very ‘shut up shop’ pose that, in a negotiation, would suggest the other person would need to do a lot better before a deal was near to being struck.”
She added that the PM’s humour appeared to be helping “thaw some of the perma-frost” but Mr Macron’s “asymmetric” smile in return suggested “mixed feelings” on his part.