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Frank: French anger at the AUkUS deal, Jersey fishing rights, and the upcoming French Presidential elections

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.

by Bernard (bernard) on Thu Oct 14th, 2021 at 06:31:12 PM EST
Any positive outcomes for the French election? Or just different flavors of descent into Bolsanaroism?
by generic on Thu Oct 14th, 2021 at 07:03:19 PM EST
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Depends on who wins next April: most likely outcome is Macron Part Deux, but the extreme right is still a (remote) possibility; the EPP right (Bertrand or Pécresse or Barnier) also a possibility.

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...

by Bernard (bernard) on Thu Oct 14th, 2021 at 08:14:13 PM EST
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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Oct 14th, 2021 at 08:40:53 PM EST
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Adding another major source of irritation in Paris: the Treaty of Le Touquet, for almost 20 years now, has moved the border controls to the country of departure. For travelers from the UK to France, French police and customs officers operate in St Pancras station or in the port of Dover, before you board the Eurostar or a ferry. Same thing in the other direction with UK immigration and customs officers in the Paris Gare du Nord, in the port of Calais etc...

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.

by Bernard (bernard) on Fri Oct 15th, 2021 at 08:31:29 PM EST
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Up to France to end fishing row, says UK government

Fishing row: Jersey fishermen want fishing areas closed | BBC News - one hour ago |

    The Jersey Fishermen's Association (JFA) has called on the government to close its fishing areas to all vessels.

    The group wants several of the fisheries closed for six weeks and demanded the declassification of its waters be removed.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Oct 31st, 2021 at 05:09:20 PM EST
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