Thursday, May 26

Macron cuts his relationship with Johnson due to the crisis in the English Channel

From Rome, the President of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron, responded to the paper made public by the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, presenting in his own way the bilateral and European disputes (fishing, maritime and land traffic, immigration), through his personal Twitter account, in these terms: «How little seriousness … I was surprised that such non-serious methods are used. It does not communicate between governments through tweets. We will negotiate, when the English Government behaves more seriously.

In Paris, Gabriel Attal, official spokesman for the French Government, was much more direct: “The behavior of the English Prime Minister is outrageous in substance and totally out of place in form. Outrageous as

It does not respect the work done by our coast guards, our policemen, our gendarmes, who are in charge of ensuring our sovereignty. Ultimately, the British Government uses a double standard, trying to ‘outsource’ and ‘export’ its internal problems, its broken promises.

Macron and his spokesman repeat in moderately diplomatic language the background of a national point of view, much more crude and brutal: France estimates that the United Kingdom is lying and systematically violating the bilateral agreements and treaties of Touquet (2004) and Sandhurst (2018), violating the bilateral agreements related to the Brexit (2020).

Macron and Johnson, last summer during the G-7 summit in Cornwall
Macron and Johnson, last summer during the G-7 summit in Cornwall – Efe

From the French perspective, London interprets the Touquet and Sandhurst treaties in the hope that Paris will work as a ‘border police’ for English immigration policy: controlling, detaining and expelling emigrants who wish to enter the United Kingdom, where they believe they will be able to. work without papers.

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Convinced of the cynical and opportunistic, demagogic language of the English Prime Minister, Gérard Darmanin, the French Minister of the Interior, withdrew the invitation to his British colleague to participate in a “conclave” of European Interior Ministers due to meet on Sunday in Calais.

Blocking on ports

The moderately energetic language of Emmanuel Macron and his Government is accompanied by physical and material pressure from French fishermen in the large ports of the canal, threatening to cut back on land traffic through the Eurotunnel, through which more than 20 percent circulates. of land traffic between the UK and Europe.

“The English Government only understands the language of the stake: today we have cut the traffic through the Eurotunnel for two hours, if Johnson does not behave otherwise, the English exporters run the risk of paying the consequences …”, commented yesterday afternoon a group of fishermen who had participated in the blockade of the Eurotunnel, caused serious traffic jams and delays in this strategic traffic, by road.

Throughout Friday, the ports of Ouistreham, Calais, Saint-Malo, Boulogne, among others, in the English Channel, suffered blockades organized by French fishing boats protesting against the behavior of the English Government, denying France fishing permits, violating, from the French perspective, the bilateral agreements negotiated with Brexit.

The protest of the french fishermen It has a double dimension: cutting off or preventing the traffic of the English fishing fleet and cutting off the traffic of the British ferries that ensure the traffic of people and goods between French and English ports.

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In Calais, for example, several French boats, arriving from Boulogne-sur-Mer, greatly complicated the maneuvers of their English “colleagues” throughout the whole of Friday. In a relatively ‘festive’ tone, the fishermen enforcing their ‘law’ in Saint-Malo used banners and loudspeakers to address their English colleagues, blocked or to be blocked, addressing them in English: ‘We Want Our Licenses Back ! » (»We want our licenses back»).

In the port of Ouistreham, Gérard Romiti, president of the National Committee for Regional Fisheries, summed up the situation late on Friday afternoon as follows: “We don’t want handouts. We want the English Government to honor its commitments. There are too many French fishermen who are victims of the lack of seriousness and non-compliance with the national word of the English Government.

Blame Brexit

Claude-France Arnould, counselor of the French Institute of International Relations (IFRI), summarizes the evolution of the crisis between the two countries in these terms: “Brexit was consummated with lies and promises impossible to fulfill. The English are paying the consequences.

Boris Johnson continues to use his old methods to try to get out of the way, without taking the consequences of his failed promises. From fishing to immigration, the fringes of Brexit complicate everything indefinitely.

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