Macron urged to ‘attack’ EU after bloc turns its back on ‘isolated’ France to avoid ‘war’
Macron mindful of re-election bid during fishing row says expert
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The French President said the row over the granting of fishing licences is “playing with our nerves”, on Friday. A post-Brexit dispute has emerged over the granting of fishing licences for the seas off British shores and also surrounding Jersey, with Paris threatening to block British boats from landing their catches in French ports if the row is not resolved.
Mr Macron said he would continue to fight for his fishermen.
Speaking to reporters, Mr Macron said: “We are going to continue to fight, we will not abandon our fishermen.”
French threats were taken off the table while the European Commission brokered talks between the two sides, but Mr Macron appeared to suggest the negotiations were taking too long.
He said: “The Commission must protect us. It has to see this through, but it’s moving too slowly, too weakly.”
He added: “If the Commission doesn’t play its part, France will do it.”
But Generation Frexit leader Charles-Henri Gallois blasted the French leader over his reluctance to point the finger at the EU and claimed the bloc did not want to enter a trade war.
He said: “The other European countries do not want to enter into a trade war.
“France finds itself completely isolated.
“Emmanuel Macron should attack the EU for negotiating a bad deal.
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“A France which took back control could negotiate a bilateral agreement directly with the United Kingdom which would be ‘win-win’.”
Brexit minister Lord Frost has met with French Europe minister, Clement Beaune, and the Commission, to try and find an answer to the row over small vessels.
But there has been no resolution yet to the dispute and Paris has insisted the sanctions – which could include a ban on British trawlers landing their catches in French ports and tighter customs checks to hamper cross-Channel trade – remain “on the table” if a deal cannot be reached.
The French have also threatened to cut off the electric supply to Jersey.
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Mr Macron added: “I refuse to return to a bilateral discussion.
“This isn’t a question for France and the British, but a question of respecting your word”.
Maritime Minister Annick Girardin said earlier on Friday that France would “continue to fight every day to get what should be ours and so that those 150 licences arrive”.
Tension has flared repeatedly in the row. France briefly seized a British fishing boat in its waters in October, and both countries sent maritime vessels to waters off the Channel island of Jersey earlier this year.
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