Fishing rights

Macron is playing politics in the Channel

The stand-off between France and Britain has escalated into something altogether more serious. Yesterday, the French maritime minister called for Jersey’s electricity supply to be cut off in response to a dispute over fishing rights. Egged on by French officials, around 80 boats began blockading the port of St Helier this morning in a move that is reminiscent of Ursula von der Leyen’s aborted plans for a hard Irish border to stop the flow of vaccines into the UK. Now there are scenes of British Navy vessels approaching the fishing boats as French ships chart a course for the Channel island. Some on the Continent are claiming that the stand-off

Boris Johnson has allowed himself to be snookered by the EU

The UK-EU trade negotiations have heated up again, albeit from a very cold state. Boris seems to have conceded ground on the ‘evolution clause’ to the European Union, making a path to an agreement on the level playing field issues at least plausible. The UK has accepted that divergence should come at some cost — although the details of how that cost should be managed appear to still be a live issue. With that comes the last hurdle: fishing. Boris Johnson has allowed himself to be snookered by the EU. More than anything else I could point to, leaving fishing to the very end demonstrates the folly of Johnson’s overall

Inside the final act of the Brexit drama

The fourth round of official Brexit negotiations resumed on Tuesday, screen-to-screen. They will determine whether the stalemate can be broken and a trade deal sealed by the end of the transition date of 31 December. By mid-June, a high-level ‘stock-take’ between Boris Johnson and Commission President Ursula von der Leyen will assess whether sufficient progress has been made to continue negotiations.  Such is not the case thus far, according to recent public utterances from Michel Barnier and David Frost, who has claimed ‘very little progress’. Just like in Endgame, Samuel Beckett’s tragicomedy, a sense of hopelessness pervades the final scene of the drama. In the play – as with Brexit – the