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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

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