‘Macron hates Britain!’ Furious Ann Widdecombe issues brutal slap down of French leader

COP26: Emmanuel Macron meets Boris Johnson in Glasgow

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Mr Macron, who arrived in Glasgow for the COP26 environmental summit on Monday, has been sniping at the UK in recent days in the wake of the row over fishing rights. Accusing Prime Minister Boris Johnson of back-pedalling on commitments enshrined in the EU–UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) in respect of Britain’s refusal to grant dozens of licences to French fishermen, Mr Macron claimed it was a “not a big sign of your credibility”.

Furthermore, French President Jean Castex has written to the European Commission demanding it demonstrate to the public that it was more damaging to leave the EU than to stay.

Meanwhile tensions over the seizure of a British fishing vessel are rumbling on, with Seine-Maritime prefecture insisted the ship would remain tied up in Le Havre unless its crew paid “deposit” of more than £125,000.

The former Employment Minister, who served alongside Nigel Farage after being elected to the European Parliament in 2019, did not hold back in her assessment of both Mr Macron and the French in general.

Macron hates Brexit and hates Britain

Ann Widdecombe

She told Express.co.uk: “Relations with France are at rock-bottom.

“Macron is facing an election and therefore wants to posture.

“Macron hates Brexit and hates Britain.”

Referring to the seizure of the British vessel, the Cornelis Gert Jan, she added: “He will know that he’s acting unreasonably – that ship had a licence.

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“There may have been a couple of admin errors in getting it on the list, but it had a licence and it was fishing within its licence.

“So he is basically enjoying himself.”

With respect to Mr Castex’s letter, Ms Widdecombe said: “I think that’s wholly in keeping with what we’ve seen is so far.

“Remember that Ursula von der Leyen actually tried to close the Irish border without even asking the Taoiseach.

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“Ages ago, before this all flared up Macron was threatening to turn out the lights in Jersey.

“They want to make Brexit as difficult as possible so that they deter others from trying.”

Ms Widdecombe suggested Mr Macron’s stance reflected the deep-seated antipathy which France harboured when it comes to Britain.

She said: “Recently, of course, they’ve had the additional problem that their submarine order was cancelled.

“Nothing surprises me with the French quite honestly.

“If it was anyone else I would I would be surprised. But the French have always been pretty bloody-minded towards the UK.

“This goes back a long way.”

Mr Macron has warned that unless Britain made a “significant move” to ease the dispute over licences to fish in British waters, Paris would introduce more stringent port and border checks from Tuesday.

Speaking on Monday, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss warned the UK would respond by triggering dispute resolution measures in the Brexit trade deal to seek “compensatory measures” if Mr Macron’s administration carries out its threats.

She told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “Those threats are completely unwarranted. We allocated the fishing licences completely in line with what is in the trade agreement with the EU and the French need to withdraw those threats.

“Otherwise we will use the dispute resolution mechanism in the EU deal to take action.”

She added: “We are simply not going to roll over in the face of these threats.”

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