Fish wars

Did Macron win the Brexit fish war?

Who is winning the fish war? Will gentlemen in England still a-bed think themselves accursed they were not there? This morning, the war looked rather, forgive me, fishy. France has suspended until Thursday its threats to disrupt the Channel Tunnel. Boris declared he would make no concessions. His bellicose promise came immediately after the UK and Channel Islands handed the French 100 more fishing permits. Maybe it will hot up. Maybe not. French-bashing is flourishing at least. Jacob Rees-Mogg has pronounced the French to be always grumpy in October, the anniversary of Agincourt and Trafalgar. And he’s being predictably reflected in Brit-bashing from Paris, dragging out the Marquis de Ximenès’s

Macron’s fish war on Britain is no laughing matter

Once upon a time, the insolence demonstrated by Emmanuel Macron in his fish war with the United Kingdom would have been met with a firmer response than inviting the French ambassador to the Foreign Office for a chat. Bombarding the ramparts of Saint-Malo hardly seems on the menu today, however – even were our navy capable. Boris Johnson has promised to do ‘whatever is necessary’ to protect British vessels but threatening ‘rigorous checks’ on French boats is as feeble as it is improbable, given that the Royal Navy has just eight small boats patrolling 756,000 square kilometres (300,000 square miles) of water, almost four times the surface area of Great