Brexit: France ‘doesn’t have a weapon to use’ says commentator
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A prominent French political commentator Philippe Moreau-Chevrolet has admitted that Emmanuel Macron is “powerless” against the British. He let slip that Paris’ repeated threats to sanction and punish the British over the ongoing fishing row were empty. Speaking to France24, Mr Moreau-Chevrolet said that “we don’t have the means to exert any pressure on the British”.
This comes amid a long-running row between Paris and London amid accusations that Britain is withholding licences for French boats.
France has repeatedly threatened sanctions against the British, accusing the UK of breaching the Brexit deal.
Mr Moreau-Chevrolet admitted that the threats were not credible, saying: “The problem is, if you look at the Brexit situation and the fight between Paris and London.
“We see that Paris doesn’t have any weapon to use against the British in order to force them to comply with the letters of the law.”
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The leading French columnist continued: “We can’t force them to allow our people to go fishing in their seas.
“We don’t have the means to exert any pressure on the British.”
Mr Moreau-Chevrolet compared the situation to the ongoing standoff between Poland and Belarus, adding: “The Russians know we are weak.
“We don’t have any means to fight back against the Belarusians and Russians.”
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This comes as talks to resolve the issue of fishing failed to make any breakthroughs earlier this week.
Following a meeting between the two sides, Clement Beaune, one of the French president’s closest allies, said that possible punishment sanctions were still “possible”.
After talks with Britain’s Brexit minister Lord Frost, France’s Europe Minister said: “France remains open to dialogue, but a rapid solution must be found for our fishermen, in line with the implementation of our agreements.”
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Paris says dozens of French boats have had their applications to fish the UK’s rich waters rejected.
However, British officials are convinced there is little support across the EU for Paris to punish Britain.
Mr Macron reportedly reiterated his threat to his aides: “I will not give an inch on fish.
“The UK must respect the spirit of the Brexit agreement or sell their fish elsewhere.”
The French leader is understood to be taking a tough stance with Britain for electoral reasons.
He faces re-election in April, with eurosceptics Marine Le Pen and Eric Zemmour, a far-Right polemist, rising in the polls.
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