‘France was never our ally!’ Macron’s threats to cut energy supply dubbed ‘immature’
UK needs to ‘engage better’ with France over fishing row says MP
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French Maritime Minister Annick Girardin has given Boris Johnson until October 13 to loosen the rules around French fishing boat licenses, ministers have threatened extreme retaliatory measures if the UK does not cave to demands. But, an Express poll of 7,268 participants, held from September 6 to 8, found that a staggering 97 percent of people think the Prime Minister should dig his heels in and refuse to give out more French fishing licenses.
The Government office accepted just 12 of 47 applications to fish in British waters last week, on the grounds that the rejected applications did not provide sufficient evidence to prove a history of fishing in the area.
Overall, Downing Street has granted licences to about 1,800 vessels to fish in British waters, but French Ministers have insisted that this is not enough.
Ms Girardin wrote: “#Brexit|the [French government] remains mobilized and will soon present retaliatory measures in response to the low number of licenses granted to French fishermen, necessary to operate in British waters.”
Her colleague, Secretary of State Clement Beaune, has threatened to cut the power supply, which is fed through to the UK from France, and claims that members of the EU would support the move.
He said: “In the next few days, and I talked to my European counterparts on this subject yesterday, we will take measures at the European level or nationally, to apply pressure on the United Kingdom.
“We defend our interests. We do it nicely, and diplomatically, but when that doesn’t work, we take measures.
“For example, we can imagine, since we’re talking about energy…the United Kingdom depends on our energy supplies.
“It thinks that it can live all alone, and bash Europe.”
Speaking at the Conservative Party Conference, Lord Frost responded by calling these threats “unreasonable” and pointed out that the UK has not threatened France in a similar way throughout tumultuous Brexit negotiations.
He said: “For all the frustrations of the last 18 months, I can’t think that we as a country have resorted to those sorts of threats.
“We’ve not made those sort of direct threats to our neighbours, and the vaccine export ban earlier this year is another example of where the EU resorts to these sorts of threats quite quickly – and that’s not how we should behave. We don’t, and I don’t see why our neighbours feel they have to.”
His stance is echoed by the British public, as 94 percent of people no longer believe that France is an ally of the UK as tensions have soared, according to Express.co.uk’s poll.
One voter, Telsar, said: “What a joke. We’ve only excluded a few boats and we have been threatened to the hilt by the arrogant French bullies. No way are they classed as friends and allies.”
Another reader agreed: “The French should be grateful for the near 2000 licences that the UK HAS issued, not sulk and complain and even threaten the UK as we go about our National Business in a civilised fashion” (username Rabmac-1).
Many readers went so far as to say that the French have never been an ally to Britain except when the country needed UK support during the World Wars.
Do you agree? Let us know in the comments section below.
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