Make a stand! Brexit Britain cannot succumb to ‘illegal’ French blackmail over fishing

G20: Boris responds to Macron’s call to punish Uk for EU exit

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Brexiteer Daniel Hannan branded the actions of Emmnauel Macron’s Republic as “patently illegal” after frontline ministers have levelled numerous threats at the UK over recent weeks. These include cutting off power supplies, breaking the withdrawal agreement by introducing tariffs and punishing the UK for leaving the EU.

The former MEP said that the EU had only backed France over the UK because it was still in the Brussels club.

This trend would continue, he said as he urged Brexit Britain forge it’s own way away from the EU.

Writing in the Telegraph, he said: “This requires some painful intellectual contortions.

“For example, the demand that Britain reward unprovoked blackmail is framed as a call for ‘maturity’ or ‘de-escalation’.

“France’s blatant threats to act outside the law are excused on grounds that Britain has supposedly done the same thing over the Northern Ireland Protocol.”

Mr Hannan, who helped found the pro-Brexit Vote Leave campaign before the 2016 EU referendum, is referring to the UK threatening to trigger Article 16 over the protocol.

This would unilaterally suspend many of the checks that the Brexit withdrawal agreement imposed on goods travelling between the province and the rest of the UK.

But comparing invoking Article 16 with France’s threats is not comparing like-for-like, he insisted.

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This is because there is “no comparison between a legal measure – Article 16 is expressly part of the protocol, and the EU was quite ready to trigger it – and openly ignoring the rules,” he said.

He went on to reveal that in spite of the dispute the UK had still “sought a negotiated settlement rather than invoking the clause”.

Comparing these actions with how France has reacted, Mr Hannan delivered a damning verdict.

He wrote: “The UK and the Channel Islands have been immensely accommodating within the terms of that deal, admitting any reasonable evidence of past access to their waters, even offering their own electronic records, and granting interim licences to skippers who struggled to complete the paperwork in time.

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“Jersey has licensed more than 160 EU vessels, almost all of them French.

“But a further 50 or so have not been able to provide any evidence of a presence in Jersey waters – almost certainly because they have not fished there.

“On any conceivable interpretation, the terms of the TCA (Brexit withdrawal agreement) exclude them.”

He added: “Britain cannot begin its relationship as an independent neighbour of the EU by giving in to patently illegal threats.

“Someone must stand up for a law-based international order.”

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