‘He hasn’t got a leg to stand on!’ Emmanuel Macron savaged by IDS over UK fishing threats

France ‘hasn’t got a leg to stand on’ says Iain Duncan Smith

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The former Conservative Party leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith has blasted French President Emmanuel Macron after a British scallop trawler was seized by authorities in France amid a bitter row over post-Brexit fishing arrangements. Sir Iain dismissed the actions of the French President as “window dressing” ahead of the April 2022 French Presidential Elections. He went on to argue that the EU themselves have already told President Macron he “does not have a leg to stand on.”

Sir Iain told Sky News: “You know, we should put this into context.

“It’s quite obvious that France is facing an election and the President isn’t doing too well, and I’m afraid it goes with the territory that you then immediately try and pull the tail of the lion across the water, which is the UK.

“So first of all, a lot of this is window dressing and nonsense from France.

“The second thing is that even the EU and France, President Macron talks about absolute adherence and adoration of the EU, but the EU has told to him he hasn’t got a leg to stand on when it comes to fishing.”

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He added: “Because that was the agreement that we had signed up to, and they’re satisfied with it, and the UK is simply implementing it.

“So France is out on a limb on this.

“I think the British government should be very strong about saying, look, we are prepared to protect our trawler fleet and there is absolutely no legal basis for the French to arrest a trawler that is registered within the United Kingdom or the islands.

“And my simple point is, I hope the Foreign Secretary will be very bold and strong and tell the French that they have no rights over this and they must back off.”


Macron looking for ‘handy enemy’ says commentator

It comes as France24’s Dave Keating warned that President Macron has the power to cause a “major headache” for the European Commission amid the ongoing row between Paris and London over fishing arrangements in the English Channel after Brexit. 

France has threatened to slash energy exports to the Channel Islands in a dispute over the number of fishing licences been awarded to French trawlers.

Mr Keating has argued in the event that France chooses to escalate the row, the EU Commission would be forced to take a “more active role.”

He told France24: ” I get the impression that the Commission actually finds all of this sabre rattling unhelpful because this is taking place in the context of many treaty requirements that the UK is not fulfilling and the Commission really has its hands full, most especially with the Northern Ireland protocol. This fishing issue is relatively small, this is a small number of vessels we’re talking about here.”

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The Brussels Correspondent for France24 added: “It’s incredibly important to France, but to other EU member states, it’s not as important.

“That being said, I think that if this extends into the area of energy, the Commission is going to take a more keen interest here as I said, this is France’s right to block these imports and to have more thorough checks.

“But if France acts on its threat to start cutting off energy exports to the UK, to the island of Jersey, specifically or to the UK in general that is still France’s prerogative to do.

“But that would be a major headache for the Commission.”

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