Control the French! EU warned Article 16 ‘will be triggered’ if Macron not reined in

Brexit: Clare Muldoon discusses developments in the fishing row

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France has threatened the UK with serious retaliation in response to a failure to issue what Paris perceives as a suitable amount of licences to fish in Brexit Britain’s waters. In a leaked letter, Prime Minister Jean Castex appealed with the European Union to be tougher with the UK to support French demands for their fishermen. Broadcaster Clare Muldoon has warned Emmanuel Macron the continued pressure could ultimately push Boris Johnson into triggering Article 16 of the Northern Ireland protocol, throwing all aspects of the Brexit deal with Brussels into question.

Speaking to GB News, Ms Muldoon said: “The French are casting their net over the Scottish waters, the Northern Irish waters as well and they’re bringing in the Northern Ireland protocol.

“I really don’t want Article 16 to be triggered but I think it will be triggered on the back of fishing.

“Anything will be used as an excuse.

“And Number 10, quite rightly, have said ‘we’re not commenting on this, let’s just get everything out at COP26, the G20 Summit in Rome and let’s get sorted then’.”

JUST IN: EU warned Article 16 ‘will be triggered’ if Macron not reined in

She continued: “It always seems to be ‘it is not working for me, it’s not working for the greater good, we have to do something about it.’

“Well, it’s Brexit, the UK decided to leave Europe.

“The French have said the UK and Jersey have revoked some licenses and that has put the French up it arms.

“It doesn’t take much to put up the French up in arms, I have to say, but in this President Macron and Prime Minister Jean Castex will be taking up with our PM at the G20 in Rome and indeed the COP26 Summit in Glasgow.”

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France has threatened to block British vessels trying to dock in French ports and to tighten control unless the licence issue is not resolved by next Tuesday.

President Macron delivered another blow to the Anglo-French alliance when he questioned the UK’s “credibility” because of the ongoing fishing row.

Speaking to FT, Mr Macron said: “When you spend years negotiating a treaty and then a few months later you do the opposite of what was decided on the aspects that suit you the least, it is not a big sign of your credibility.”

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Prime Minister Johnson said he was “puzzled about what is going on” and claimed Paris’ behaviour could be in contravention of the UK’s Brexit deal with the EU.

Speaking to reporters on the flight to the G20 in Rome, Mr Johnson urged British fishermen to “be confident about going about their lawful business” as he promised action against any infringements on their right to fish.

Number 10 said it would not be commenting on Mr Macron’s latest remarks.

Downing Street separately confirmed that the Prime Minister and Mr Macron will talk on the margins of the G20 this weekend.

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