Macron discusses ‘building the future’ of Europe
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And even if Mr Macron eventually loses out to former EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, Jayne Adye warned Britain could expect no favours from him either. Ms Adye, who is the director of grassroots pro-Brexit campaign Get Britain Out, was speaking after France’s threat to cut off power supplies to Jersey last week as the row over fishing access to the island threatened to boil over.
She warned the French President was ready to use every trick in the book to improve his chances in 2022 – including using the dispute with the UK to boost his popularity domestically.
The row over the UK Crown Dependency erupted after the Jersey Government issued 41 fishing licences to French fishing boats, with limitations attached in respect of how much time they were permitted to operate in its waters.
Annick Girardin, France’s Minister of the Sea, consequently threatened the cut electricity supplies to the island.
Furthermore, French insiders this week said France was planning to block a European Union financial services deal with Britain in a bid to force the UK to back down on the issue, with one source saying: “We’ve made a link between the two.”
Ms Adye said: “As we have seen, President Macron is desperate to cling onto power in France, and be seen to try and trample on the UK, and it seems the EU is willing to do anything in its mission to ensure an independent UK fails outside of the EU.
“Whether or not Macron succeeds in achieving another term as President next year, Michel Barnier, negotiator is rumoured to be throwing his hat into the ring for the French Presidency.”
With respect to the latter, who published his account of the Brexit saga, La Grande lllusion, last week, she added: “Considering how obstructive he was throughout the Brexit negotiations, I am sure we can all put two and two together to predict he will be no more of a so-called ‘Friend’ to the UK than Macron!
“We fought to Get Britain Out of the EU successfully.
“Now it is time for Prime Minister, Boris Johnson – and the UK Government – to fully embrace the real meaning of ‘Global Britain’.”
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Ms Adye’s take on the situation echoed that of Tory MP David Jones on Wednesday.
Clwyd West MP Mr Jones, who is also deputy chairman of the European Research Group, told Express.co.uk: “The French position is completely without merit.
“Even if they had reasonable cause for complaint about access to the waters around Jersey and the UK, the way that they are trying to bully their way into getting what they want – by threatening to cut off electricity supplies to Jersey, and now trying to stop UK access to EU financial markets – is wholly illegitimate.”
The deal on fisheries was contained in the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA), an arrangement between the UK and the EU signed in December, to which France was not a direct party, Mr Jones pointed out.
He added: “Under the TCA, any dispute about fisheries should be referred to the specialist Fisheries Committee for resolution.
“Even if the UK/Jersey were in breach of their obligations, any remedies for such breach would have to be proportionate, and one of those that are set out in the TCA.
“An individual member state has no right to take measures against the UK and, in any event, threatening to cut off electricity supplies or to block UK access to EU financial markets would not be an available remedy under the TCA.”
Mr Jones warned: “The French attitude is becoming increasingly erratic.
“They are behaving like a rogue state, refusing to observe the provisions of the TCA.
“This is probably the consequence of increasing pressure on M. Macron, who is clearly concerned about his diminishing prospects of re-election next year.”
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