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Minor nitpick: that would be AUKUS; there's no need to belittle the UK with a lowercase 'k' when they're suffering empty shelves already 🙂
Also, the French anger over AUKUS has been mainly directed at Australia and the USA, with the UK's role dismissed by the French pols (beneath our notice). Macron's gov recalled the French ambassadors to Australia and to the US, but pointedly, not the ambassador to the UK - couldn't be arsed...
Still, AUKUS has added to a growing pile of French gov distrust of the Boris Johnson crowd overall, despite a very strong and enduring military cooperation (search for Lancaster House Treaties) that started in the 1960's, before the UK even joined the EU (Jaguar aircraft, Lynx helicopter), but I digress.
Fishing, around Jersey (Guernsey has granted all the requested fishing licenses) but also other UK waters are a surprising point of contention: even though fishing represents less than 0.1% of the GDP of both countries, fishermen are regarded as an important constituency on both sides of the Channel. Fishing issues in UK waters are also important in Belgium, the Netherlands and Denmark.
And yes, with Macron unofficially starting his reelection campaign, there is little appetite to keep putting up with London's demands, especially when everybody knows they will never accept the NI protocol and will trigger the A16, probably before the end of the year.
The real question is actually whether the EU will really start effective retaliatory measures when (not if) it happens. Just like Poland, this will be existential for the EU.
Also important are the parliamentary elections that will follow in June: since the beginning of the century, voters have tended to give the newly elected president an absolute majority of seats (FPTP system), but the electorate may go off script.
Today, polls show Macron ahead, followed by Le Pen, Zemmour and Bertrand. For what it's worth, according to the polls taken five years ago, in October 2016, Alain Juppé was leading by a wide margin, far ahead of Macron or Le Pen; he didn't make it through the primaries set up by his LR (EPP) party. Oh, the October 2016 polls were also predicting US President Hillary Clinton...
Trouble is that more undocumented migrants are trying to cross the Channel and the burden of controlling them is on the French authorities. The Murdoch press has been barking for years about the feckless French not doing enough to police "our [the UK's] border". There has been several agreements between the two governments to increase the controls, but more migrants are crossing the Dover strait on small inflatable boats.
The UK did agree to contribute about 62 million to finance the French policing, but Priti Patel decided they wouldn't pay up, because - you guessed it - the French side "is not doing enough".
The constant bitching, bad faith and going back on one's word is also taking a toll there: French Interior minister Gerald Darmanin has called for renegotiating the treaty. Many voices in France are now calling to stop policing the UK borders for them and let the UK "take back control" of their own borders, as the slogan goes.
Fishing row a test of UK's credibility - Macron [_link]— BBC Jersey (@BBCJersey) October 30, 2021
Fishing row a test of UK's credibility - Macron [_link]
Up to France to end fishing row, says UK government
Fishing row: Jersey fishermen want fishing areas closed | BBC News - one hour ago |
The group wants several of the fisheries closed for six weeks and demanded the declassification of its waters be removed.
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