Pitiful Macron branded a wimp as French fury erupts at President backing down from UK

EU turning a blind eye' to France wanting to break Brexit deal

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The French President was branded a “wimp” after he decided to suspend Brexit threats against the UK over fishing rights at the eleventh hour. The attack came from Les Patriotes leader Florian Philippot, a candidate for the French 2022 Presidential elections.

He said: “Fishing: Macron promised sanctions against the United Kingdom this Tuesday at midnight.

“Then, pitiful, announces that he is backing down!

“Trump spoke of a ‘wimp’ about him, it’s incredible!

“French fishermen, demand a sovereign country and a true head of state!”

Britain, on the other hand, has welcomed France having “stepped back” from threats to impose punitive action in a dispute over post-Brexit fishing licences as talks to settle the row continue.

Environment Secretary George Eustice acknowledged a de-escalation from French president Emmanuel Macron as he held off on the action against British boats that he had warned could have been implemented on Tuesday.

But the Cabinet member said a meeting between Brexit minister Lord Frost and France’s Europe minister Clement Beaune in Paris on Thursday would be “very important” as further talks with the EU are also scheduled.

Meanwhile, Downing Street was forced to clarify a suggestion by Mr Eustice that the British vessel impounded during the diplomatic storm because of “administrative confusion” had been released by France after it emerged it remains in Le Havre.

Mr Macron had warned that Paris could block British boats from landing their catches in French ports and tighten customs checks from midnight in protest at what they claim is a refusal by the UK authorities to grant licences to French boats.

READ MORE: Win for Boris! Macron BACKS DOWN in fishing row -changes deadline

Mr Eustice told Sky News: “We welcome the fact France has stepped back from the threats it was making last Wednesday.

“We’ve always said we want to de-escalate this and always said we have an ever open door to discuss any further evidence France or the EU might have on any additional vessels they’d like to have licensed.

“France has clearly taken a decision not to implement some of the decisions they threatened last Wednesday, we very much welcome that, but I think there’s going to be a very important meeting on Thursday between Lord Frost and his opposite number, not just on fisheries but a wider range of issues as well.”

Mr Eustice told broadcasters he understood the Scottish-registered scallop dredger, the Cornelis Gert Jan, “has now been released” following “administrative confusion” related to a change in the vessel’s engine.

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However, officials later acknowledged it remained subject to detention by French authorities in Le Havre.

Macduff Shellfish, the owner of the boat, was under the impression it would remain at Le Havre until at least after a hearing schedule in Rouen on Wednesday.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “The vessel concerned remains in port having been detained by the French authorities.”

The European Union said talks convened with officials from France, the UK, Jersey and Guernsey would continue today.

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