Friday, August 12

The United Kingdom summons the French ambassador and provokes a new escalation in the fishing dispute


Correspondent in Paris

Updated:

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The crisis between France and the United Kingdom worsens on several flammable fronts, national, European, multilateral, after the announcement of the convocation of the French ambassador in London, Catherine Colonna, to send him a firm protest, “regretting that the French government’s attitude does not facilitate the resolution of tensions.” Illegal immigration, border control, Brexit, and the new position of the United Kingdom and France in Europe and the international scene exacerbate tensions that are also victims of the national problems of Boris Johnson and Emmanuel Macron.

Liz Truss, British Foreign Minister, on Friday night asked her Secretary of State for European Affairs, Wendy Morton, to summon the French ambassador to London, in order to send her the irritation and protest of his government in the face of the “belligerent” attitude of the Government of Emmanuel Macron, which decided days ago to use a “firm language” against the English government: detention of fishing boats, possible cuts in the electricity supply, possible border controls, increasingly complicating the traffic between the UK and Europe at the maritime and land borders with France …

Before London announced the summons of the French ambassador, to receive a barely contained reprimand, Paris had announced an ultimatum: the UK has until 3 November to review their positions … It seems a very short time to put order in a string of latent disputes.

For months, illegal immigration, from French territory to the shores of the United Kingdom, has been poisoning bilateral relations, with a string of threats exchanged. Police and humanitarian problem, with a complex solution.

The European negotiations and renegotiations in London, before, during and after the consummation of Brexit, created and continue to stir up a string of reproaches. Emmanuel Macron reproached and reproaches Boris Johnson for using the Irish problem, negotiated within the framework of Brexit, for nationalist purposes that go beyond the negotiated pot. The English prime minister reproaches the French president for his arrogance in trying to encourage European resistance against the renewed demands of the English government.

The AUKUS agreement (English acronym for Australia, UK and US), accompanied by the breaking of a contract for the sale of French submarines to Australia, has fueled other equally flammable tensions. For London, AUKUS is the symbol of the UK’s new position in the new strategic geography of the world. For Paris, the agreement is a stab in the back, for France and for the rest of the European allies. For Boris Johnson and Emmanuel Macron it is, at the same time, a symbol of their own position on the international scene.

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