Michel Barnier criticises ‘absolutely inadmissible’ letter
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Michel Barnier appeared on news broadcaster LCI where he was interviewed about Brexit and the recent political row between France and the UK over the Channel crossings. Mr Barnier did not hold back in his condemnation of Boris Johnson and said the Prime Minister’s “confrontation” and aggression was not needed in a debate that needed rational ideas. The French presidential hopeful also accused the UK of going back on its word with regards to the Northern Ireland Protocol during an energised rant on French TV.
Speaking on LCI, Mr Barnier said: “This is obviously an additional provocation from Boris Johnson, who is in a state of mind of confrontation on all subjects with the European Union.
“We talk about fishing and fishermen but also about the very serious problem of peace in Ireland where they went back on their commitments and their word.
“And on this very serious question, which deserves much more than polemics and confrontations, the question of migrants and how to deal intelligently with this human question.
“I find this frankly absolutely inadmissible. What you don’t need is confrontation, it’s to sit down at the table and find solutions.”
In the same interview, Mr Barnier revealed the EU would come up with ways to retaliate against the UK when they broke parts of the Brexit agreement.
These ranged from tariffs on UK products to “controlling more British ships”.
He told added: “You have an agreement. You have a very precise, extremely precise agreement and is not respected by London.
“It is London that is responsible and therefore the one who takes serious responsibilities for the future relations that we are going to have.
“And I, if I am President of the Republic, am going to have with this great country, friend and neighbour, and the European Union is going to have.
Brexit: Barnier says agreement ‘not respected by London’
“So we have retaliatory measures and compensatory measures. We can restore tariffs on certain products or we can control more British ships.
“You can cross-suspend parts of the agreement.”
Home Secretary Priti Patel was uninvited from an important meeting with her European counterparts regarding the migrant crisis.
The decision from France was spurred on by a public letter published by Boris Johnson on Twitter which laid out the UK’s demands.
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These included joint operations to patrol French borders, sharing of intelligence, and the use of manned and unmanned airborne surveillance.
A statement from France said: “We consider the British prime minister’s public letter unacceptable and contrary to our discussions between counterparts…
“Therefore, Priti Patel is no longer invited on Sunday to the inter-ministerial meeting whose format will be: France, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, and European Commission.”
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