Fishing row poses serious issue for Macrons re-election campaign: ‘Time to act’

Macron is trying to 'save his skin in France' says Andrew Bolt

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The French President has attempted to take a strong stance against the UK after Brexit changed fishing licences. However, French politicians have started attacking the Government over failing to support fishermen.

Senator Jean-Francois Rapin said “the situation is becoming untenable”, and added it is urgent to find a quick end to the crisis between France and Britain over fishing licences.

He said: “On the question of the fishing agreement which is not respected by the British, what worries me today is that after 11 months the government has decided to put in place measures against the United Kingdom because the situation cannot last any longer.

“The fishermen don’t have their licences, they cannot work. The situation is becoming untenable.

“These retaliation measures were already too late because it’s been almost 11 months, but they were still welcomed.

“And then, 48 hours later, the president of the republic declared a soft retreat. I don’t know if today we can put all our trust in the UK government on this issue.

“Diplomacy has its limits. Eleven months is a long time. The fishermen are suffering. It’s time to act.”

Nicolas Meizonnet, a member of the National Rally party, also said: “It is no secret that the dispute over fishing licences between France and the UK has not yet been resolved. Meanwhile, French fishermen are suffering.

“It goes without saying that the Covid-19 crisis has not improved the situation.

“Due to lockdowns and the closure of restaurants, the fishing industry has suffered an overall drop in production of 10% in 2020.

“Added to this, we find disastrous European regulations such as the ‘West Med’ plan, which reduce the number of days at sea and weaken the turnover of small businesses, those that practice artisanal fishing, some of which find themselves below the profitability threshold, whereas these same standards are less restrictive for businesses that practice industrial fishing.

“With all of this, the small fishermen, the small trawlers, are dying.”

A poll from Elabe, from before the French detained the British ship, showed Mr Macron remains in the lead for the 2022 election.

The pollsters held that in the first round of voting, Mr Macron has 26 percent support, compared to Marine Le Pen’s 19 percent and Michel Barnier’s 8 percent should he be nominated as leader of Les Républicains.

Elabe’s results for the second round of voting suggest Mr Macron would win the Presidency with 55 percent support to Ms Le Pen’s 45 percent.

The pollsters surveyed 1,300 people and was carried out from October 25 to October 27.


It comes as Christophe Castaner, president of Mr Macron’s La République en Marche group at the National Assembly, took aim at the EU’s Brexit negotiator.

He said: “Those who negotiated the Brexit treaty told us, ‘Don’t worry, everything’s fine’ … now we find there are imprecisions in the text which the UK is using.”

When asked whether he blamed Mr Barnier for these “imprecisions,” Mr Castaner said: “If the UK can find a loophole in the text, it means it was not negotiated in the best way.”

It marks the first time an ally of Mr Macron attacked the Brexit trade agreement.

Mr Barnier is running in the conservative party Les Républicains (LR) party primary, and has recently enjoyed a surge in the polls.

He served as the European Commission’s Head of Task Force for Relations with the UK up to Britain’s exit from the EU in January 2021.

Previously, Mr Macron praised Mr Barnier’s efforts in negotiating the trade deal, saying in 2018 he did a “very good” and “remarkable job”.

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