Beaune shut down as French Ambassador warns energy threat to dismantle ‘entente cordiale’

Beaune shut down as French Ambassador warns of energy threat

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Sylvie Bermann has shut down Clement Beaune’s threat to cut off UK’s energy supply, saying “it will not get us anywhere”. She also warned that the fishing row will dismantle the “entente cordiale” between France and the UK. The French European Affairs Minister said that the French fishermen must not pay for the failure of Britain’s exit from the European Union.

Speaking to BBC Newsnight, host Katie Razzal asked the former French ambassador:  “Your EU affairs minister is really threatening to cut off Britain’s energy supply. He said ‘we defend our interests, we do it nicely and diplomatically but when that doesn’t work, we take measures’.

“‘The Channel Islands and the UK are dependent for us on their energy supply. They think they can live on their own and bad mouth Europe as well’.

Ms Bermann said: “Well, it’s a stretch of course. It’s not impossible legally.”

The host interjected: “But do you think it’s constructive? Does it get anywhere?”

“But, well, we are negotiating I think.”

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“I think it’s because it’s due to Brexit and what we consider non-implementation of agreements and also we consider there is loss of trust so it’s going to be very difficult to repair and go back to some form of Entente Cordiale even if I wish it.”

Mr Beaune told BFM this morning: “They failed on Brexit. It was a bad choice. Threatening us, threatening our fishermen, will not settle their supply of turkey at Christmas.

“We will hold firm. The Brits need us to sell their products.”

Paris has been furious with London’s refusal to grant sufficient licences to French fishing boats to operate in Britain’s territorial waters and is threatening retaliatory measures.

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