‘It’s hard to take his threats seriously’ – Macron mocked over ‘pointless’ fish wars

Macron looking for ‘handy enemy’ says commentator

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The French President has repeatedly castigated Boris Johnson and the UK for not granting French scallop fishermen enough permits since the EU withdrawal agreement was implemented. Grand gestures from Mr Macron and his political allies have even included threats to cut the UK’s power supply off.

Observers believe his war of words, and attempts to draw the EU into his spat with the UK, are an attempt to win wavering French voters ahead of next year’s presidential election.

UK journalist and French expert Jonathan Miller slammed the French leader, and claimed his ploy is unlikely to win many votes.

He said Mr Macron’s recent actions show he has learned nothing from the UK’s cod wars with Iceland which ended in the Seventies.

He added: “One might have imagined the French president had calmed down following his hissy fit three weeks ago when he unleashed his prime minister and European minister to threaten the United Kingdom with retaliation (‘rétortion’) for the denial of 75 licenses for French scallop boats off the ChanneI Islands.

“But that isn’t Macron’s way. He has instead ordered his ministers to come up with more moves to play against the British.

“His ambassadors have been instructed to line up European support.

“His European allies duly paid lip service to Macron’s demands for EU solidarity against the beastly British.

“But they’ve only signed up to wording that urged ‘further technical work in accordance with the spirit and the letter of the agreement’.”

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Mr Miller, writing in his piece for The Spectator, insisted that with the bloc being “riven with fault lines and conflicts, economic and security problems” it is unlikely they want to make relations with the UK any worse.

He also pointed out that scallop fishermen contribute a tiny amount to the French economy.

And with fuel prices continuing to rise, the Gilet Jaune (Yellow Vest) protesters are already rearing their heads, he warned.

He concluded that Mr Macron has “calculated there are votes to be won bashing the ancient enemy”.

He added: “He doesn’t lack self-belief, so will doubtless pretend that all his posturing against Perfidious Albion and their lackeys on the Channel Islands is brilliantly effective.

“But it’s not even as if many votes are likely to be won. Brittany is seeing a resurgence of the Gilets Jaunes as fuel prices go through the roof.

“There are 40,000 farms in Brittany with more cows than the only 9,000 humans who are employed in the fishing industry.

“The fishermen are media-friendly and symbolic but what they do is many decimal places away from enormous economic significance.

“For them, Macron demands revenge? He’s at risk of seeming desperate or hysterical. Neither is a good look.”

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