Less than four weeks to go to the new deal deadline and we are still talking about fish. "France derails Brexit talks", the headline in the Times today.
Macron has thrown a mackerel into the net demanding access to UK waters for up to a decade after the transition period. He may have well sent a gunboat up the Thames, the impact.
Discussions were suspended, Bernier went back to Paris. Boris Johnson will hold emergency talks with Ursula Van Der Leyen, President of the European Commission.
A spokesman said "Time is in very short supply" We even have a video which explains the clock is ticking, that's "Les heures tournent et pas doucement" in French. "We are at a difficult point in the talks. We will not be able to agree a deal which does not respect the fundamental principles on sovereignty, fishing and control".
Yes taking back control always included the fish. Matthew Flynn writing in the Telegraph today, suggests there is something fishy about the French threat to veto the trade bill. President Macron may well have calculated that a no deal may be bad for the EU but could be a very good outcome for France.
The trade surplus with the UK is quite small at around £ 5 billion a year. Paris would be the main beneficiary of disruption to London as the financial services capital of Europe. The UK and France are close competitors in the race for inward investment.
Sitting in the Elysee Palace Macron may well think France would be a winner from a no deal. But then again he would lose the fish and would have a tremendous problem with cheese. Let's hope the Prime Minister can smile and work his charm on the President of the Commission.
All sides need an agreement, time for a common language, time is running out, the hours are turning ...
That's all for this week! Have a great, safe, week-end ... Hands, Face and Space ...
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