Sunday, 28 Nov 2021

Brexit LIVE: Desperate France begs EU for help after threat to ban UK trawlers from ports

Andrew Marr grills Šefčovič on Lord Frost's proposals

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Clement Beaune, a close ally of French President Emmanuel Macron, said all options remain on the table, with his country ready to impose tighter checks on imports and a ban on British trawlers landing catches in French ports. Speaking on Monday, France’s Europe Minister said: “We still have all options on the table, including these measures, we will prefer to have it on the EU level but if nothing happens at the EU level we will take French measures. But I don’t want to go into that.

“It would be a mistake to think you can have quick wins, or short-term wins, with your neighbours.

“If we want to work together on defence, and security, and foreign policy, and crises like the one we see in Belarus, or maybe in Ukraine, in the Balkans, which is a big concern for the UK as well, you need trust and to be true to your words.

“If we have doubts, it’ll never work. So I say to the UK again, this is in your best interest to settle this.”

Earlier in the day, Mr Beaune said he had met with European Commission vice-president Maros Sefcovic, the bloc’s Brexit point man, urging him to be “even more active, to be even more firm and adamant” with Britain.

He also suggested the Commission had not previously taken France’s concerns on board, explaining: “I want to be frank, I think it has changed, but I think it was taken not seriously enough by the European Commission initially, a few weeks ago, a few months ago.”

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France begs EU for help after threat to ban UK trawlers from ports

France is begging Brussels to intervene in the increasingly bitter row over fishing access to UK waters – and has ominously warned it is ready to act unilaterally if necessary.

Clement Beaune, a close ally of French President Emmanuel Macron, said all options remain on the table, with his country ready to impose tighter checks on imports and a ban on British trawlers landing catches in French ports.

Speaking on Monday, France’s Europe Minister said: “We still have all options on the table, including these measures, we will prefer to have it on the EU level but if nothing happens at the EU level we will take French measures. But I don’t want to go into that.

“It would be a mistake to think you can have quick wins, or short-term wins, with your neighbours.

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