Emmanuel Macron attacked for using ‘Brexit hatred’ as cover for ‘foolish’ Covid response

Macron has ‘abandoned’ his past political stance says Oulds

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Yesterday, French fishermen staged a protest, setting off flares as dozens of boats gathered in the waters near Jersey. The boats eventually retreated after two Royal Navy warships moved in. The protest came after France accused Jersey of dragging its feet over issuing new licences to French boats post-Brexit.

France has also accused the UK of being in breach of the Brexit agreement made with the EU last year over the crisis.

However, French-Algerian academic Nabila Ramdani has lashed out at the French President claiming his “hatred for Brexit” was a diversion away from his own failings during the coronavirus pandemic.

She said: “But the damage has been done and judging by Macron’s past antics, it certainly won’t be the last incident.

“Under huge pressure in France for his mishandling of the pandemic, this popinjay statesman has in recent months been using his hatred of Brexit as a diversionary tactic from his own failings to make headlines by antagonising the UK, either directly or indirectly via the EU.”

During last year’s Brexit negotiations, Mr Macron took a hard line on fisheries and said France would not accept any “sacrifices to our fishermen”.

He rejected London’s demands for annual negotiations on fish quotas in British waters, claiming it would damage the EU industry.

Both sides finally agreed on a transition period until June 2026 before a new quota share system.

Ms Ramdani went on to say how Mr Macron has resorted to “low politics” by exploiting the situation in Northern Ireland and the Irish Sea Border.

In her latest column piece on the MailOnline, she wrote: “Macron has also resorted to low politics by exploiting the sensitive and turbulent situation in Northern Ireland over Brexit and the Irish Sea border to try to get Britain to kowtow to Brussels.”

Mr Macron has faced ongoing criticism for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic and Ms Ramdani blamed him for jeopardising the slow vaccine rollout across Europe.

She said: “This follows Macron’s relentless undermining of the efficacy and safety of the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab.

“Not only has he jeopardised the rollout across Europe, he has also made himself look foolish.

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“It is no coincidence that Macron’s saber-rattling over fishing rights comes amid growing calls for his resignation.

“The pandemic has intensified enormous economic and social problems – and they are set to get worse as the country leaves its third lockdown.”

Earlier this year, Mr Macron also claimed the AstraZeneca vaccine – which was developed with Oxford University – was “almost ineffective” in the over-65s.

This came despite Europe’s medicines regulator approving the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

However, nearly a month later, the French President made a dramatic U-turn and said he would happily have received the jab if he was offered it.

In his U-turn, Mr Macron said: “I trust the health authorities saying the AstraZeneca vaccine is recommended and must be used in compliance with the age recommendations.

“It is not used in younger people, but still in the oldest ones […], especially when they have a risk factor.”

In March, France recommended using the vaccine for over-55s only.

France has recorded the highest number of infections across Europe as more than five million people have tested positive.

While the overall death toll in France is lower than that in Britain, the figure continues to rise and 219 people have died over the last 24 hours compared to just 13 in the UK.

As of yesterday, around 16 million people in France have received their first jab of a vaccine, while more than seven million have been given their second jab.

In comparison, more than 34 million people in Britain have been given at least one jab of a vaccine.

While over 16 million have received two jabs.

The EU has been widely criticised for its slow vaccine rollout with former Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier admitting the bloc had been slow.

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