GB News: Alastair Stewart in heated fishing clash with Macron ally
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In a tense face to face confrontation in Rome yesterday, the Prime Minister told the French President to “de-escalate” the cross-Channel barbs. He demanded the French drop moves for further restrictions on British vessels and threats to cut off energy supplies to Jersey. But President Macron intensified the row last night by saying the UK must give ground.
Mr Johnson ad-mitted having a “frank” discussion with Mr Macron.
Speaking at a G20 Summit press conference, he said: “I must say I was puzzled to read a letter from the French Prime Minister explicitly asking for Britain to be punished for leaving the EU.
“I just have to say to everybody, I don’t believe that that is compatible either with the spirit or the letter of the Withdrawal Agreement, or the Trade and Cooperation Agreement.”
The spat then turned to farce when Downing Street officials denied French claims that the two leaders had agreed to “work to find a solution to the problem”.
They insisted it was up to France to back down to end the Brexit row over the granting of licences to be able to fish in UK coastal waters. President Macron insisted that unless the UK gives ground, France will trigger trade reprisals this week.
He said: “The ball is in Britain’s court. If the British make no movement, measures will have to be put in place.”
Mr Macron told reporters he “hoped there would be a positive response”.
Mr Johnson had confronted him in a tense 30-minute meeting held in a side room at the G20 Summit.
A Downing Street spokesman said: “The Prime Minister reiterated his deep concern over the rhetoric emanating from the French government in recent days, including the
suggestion that the UK should be punished for leaving the EU.”
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