Boris urged to ‘ramp up’ pressure on France by refusing to pay EU ‘divorce payments’

Brexit: George Eustice grilled over French fishing licences

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Reform UK’s Richard Tice has urged Boris Johnson and the UK Government to get tough after France threatened to retaliate amid a row over fishing rights. Mr Tice told TalkRADIO the Prime Minister should consider stopping paying Brexit payments to Brussels in abid to apply pressure on Paris to back down. He called on the UK to then “ramp up” retaliatory measures until President Emmanuel Macron caves in.

Mr Tice told TalkRADIO: “I think actually, so far, the UK Government has been probably not unsurprising measured in its response.

“But I think now is the time to make it very clear to the European Union, that we’re not going to be legged over like this.

“I mean, the letter from the French Prime Minister, was actually nothing short of outrageous, saying that we had to be punished.

“And actually the Prime Minister is right, it breaches the spirit of good faith, which underpins the EU UK withdrawal agreement and the trading cooperation agreement.”

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He added: “And there’s no question we now need to get some I think we should be saying that we should stop paying any of the so-called divorce payments to the EU.

“We’re going to stop paying those.

“And I think we need to make it clear that every couple of days we will ramp up another measure.”

It comes as Foreign Secretary Liz Truss warned France will face calls for compensation if Paris does not back down.

 

Macron says ‘the ball is in Britain’s court’

Ms Truss told Sky News: “The French have made completely unreasonable threats, including to the Channel Islands and to our fishing industry, and they need to withdraw those threats.

“Or else we will use the mechanisms of our trade agreement with the EU to take action”

Sky News host Kay Burley questioned: “So what does that mean?

“What that means is that we will use the dispute resolution mechanism, which could lead to taking direct action in trade,” replied the Foreign Secretary.

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“What looking at the resolution mechanism…the French have behaved unfairly.

“It’s not within the terms of the trade, if somebody behaves unfairly in a trade deal you are entitled to take action against them and seek some compensatory measures, and that is what we will do, if the French don’t back down.”

Ms Burley asked: “Okay when you say back down, what do you want that to look like?

“Well stop threatening UK fishing vessels stop threatening the channel ports and accept we are entirely within our rights to allocate the fishing licences in line with the trade agreement as we have done,” replied Ms Truss

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