Vindictive Macron must accept reality France has no hold over Brexit Britain

Fishing: French behaving in 'appalling manner' says Gardiner

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Emmanuel Macron had warned that Paris could block British boats from landing their catches in French ports and tighten customs checks from midnight in protest at what they claim is a refusal by the UK authorities to grant licences to French boats. But France suspended the threats at the eleventh hour as negotiations continue. Nile Gardiner, Director at Margaret Thatcher Centre for Freedom, said the French president is “driven” by his hatred of Brexit.

Speaking to GB News, Mr Gardiner said: “Basically Macron is driven by a hatred of Brexit, a hatred of the democratic will of the British people.

“The British people voted to leave the European Union. He doesn’t accept that.

“He’s behaving in an extremely petty, vindictive fashion.

“He needs to accept the reality, the British people have voted to leave the European Union, they have thrown off the shackles of the EU.

“They have thrown off the shackles of the French as well, Macron is in no position whatsoever to be lecturing the British people about their own democratic decisions.”

Britain has welcomed France having “stepped back” from threats to impose punitive action in a dispute over post-Brexit fishing licences as talks to settle the row continue.

Environment Secretary George Eustice acknowledged a de-escalation from French president Emmanuel Macron as he held off on the action against British boats that he had warned could have been implemented on Tuesday.

But the Cabinet member said a meeting between Brexit minister Lord Frost and France’s Europe minister Clement Beaune in Paris on Thursday would be “very important” as further talks with the EU are also scheduled.

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Mr Eustice told Sky News: “We welcome the fact France has stepped back from the threats it was making last Wednesday.

“We’ve always said we want to de-escalate this and always said we have an ever open door to discuss any further evidence France or the EU might have on any additional vessels they’d like to have licensed.

“France has clearly taken a decision not to implement some of the decisions they threatened last Wednesday, we very much welcome that, but I think there’s going to be a very important meeting on Thursday between Lord Frost and his opposite number, not just on fisheries but a wider range of issues as well.”

The Scottish-registered scallop dredger, the Cornelis Gert Jan, which was caught up in the diplomatic row was believed to have been released.


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But Mr Eustice said the captain, understood to be an Irish national who had a court hearing scheduled for next August, must still return in the future amid “further discussions”.

“I understand that vessel has now been released and I think there’s going to need to be some further discussions, clearly there was an administrative error at some point,” he told Sky News.

He subsequently described the issue on BBC Breakfast as an “administrative confusion” due to a change in the engine.

The European Union said talks convened with officials from France, the UK, Jersey and Guernsey would continue on Tuesday.

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