With diplomatic spats over Channel migrant crossings and ongoing fishery issues, Ben Habib has urged Boris Johnson to take a stern stance with France and cease paying for cooperation from Paris.
Amid an intensifying diplomatic crisis, Ben Habib has called on the UK to cut off aid to France. According to GB News, the UK has contributed over £200 million to Paris in recent years, according to a former Brexit Party MEP. This comes amid rising tensions between the two countries over migrant crossings over the English Channel after the horrific drowning of 27 people on Wednesday.
A long-running disagreement over post-Brexit fishing rights has erupted. French fishermen staged a day of protest on Friday, including blockades to block cross-Channel trade.
Mr Habib explained: “Well, our relationship with France has been in a downward spiral ever since we decided to leave the EU.”
“Throughout the negotiations, it was the French who led on the desire to punish the UK for voting to leave. And things have just got progressively worse since we left”
“The first manifestation of our deterioration was in fishing, and we can see that continuing.”
French fishermen “have 40 percent of the fishing licenses issued to fish in our waters,” he said.
Mr Habib went on to say: “This latest row about the Channel comes squarely down to the French.”
“We have a bilateral agreement with the French by which we have paid them £200m over the last few years – £50m a year.”
“And they flagrantly breach this agreement with French policemen just watching these crafts launch.”
“The failure here is of the British Government not recognising we don’t have a workable relationship with France.”
“And not taking unilateral action to get to grips with these issues.”
The UK agreed to pay France £54 million in July to assist safeguard the borders. However, the number of individuals crossing has continued to increase.
Priti Patel was not invited to a conference in Paris to explore solutions to the Channel crossings, the latest escalation in the French-UK spat.
Without the United Kingdom, Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Germany, and the European Commission are expected to attend discussions in Calais on Sunday.
Mr Johnson’s choice to send a public letter outlining a five-point strategy through Twitter was chastised by President Macron.
The French president accused the UK prime minister of not being “serious.”
Gabriel Attal, the official spokesman for the French government, described it as “mediocre in terms of the content, and wholly inappropriate as regards the form.”