‘Furious’ France may ‘revoke’ Touquet treaty unless UK backs down from Brexit fishing row

Migrant crossings to UK discussed by Clément Beaune

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As outlined in the Touquet treaty, UK border patrols are allowed to check France for migrant stowaways, but the UK Government has been warned the treaty could be revoked. A French MP has warned London that the treaty could be at risk if the UK Government does not back down in the Brexit fishing row.

Jean-Pierre Pont, MP for the Pas-de-Calais county, has said this threat comes as the French government must go “all the way” to stop its fishermen taking “the law into their own hands”.

After attending virtual talks with Annick Giradin, the minister of the seas and Clement Beaune, France’s Europe minister, Mr Pont stated the Touquet treaty’s future depends on how London retaliates.

“As for Le Touquet, I think it could go as far as threatening to revoke it,” the French MP said.

“They are all furious and prepared to do everything to get the Brexit accords respected.

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“When there are agreements, one must respect them all.

“We would be happy to continue with Le Touquet as long as the UK respects the Brexit deals and gives what it has promised.”

In July, the British Government gave France £54million to tackle the migrant crossings of the English Channel after a record number of Channel crossings.

Sir Iain Duncan Smith, the former Tory leader, has said if the treaty is revoked France should not receive monetary support.

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“If they break the agreement it’s very simple, we shouldn’t pay them any money,” he said.

“We should just say very calmly stop behaving like children.

“It was very clear at the time the trade deal was signed how the licences would work.”

At time of writing, the French government has not made a direct threat revoking the Touquet treaty but has vowed to retaliate if Britain does not back down in the fish war.

Olivier Lepretre, head of the powerful fishing committee for the northern Hauts-de-France region, warned: “The blocking of the port of Calais and exports to the United Kingdom for the period leading up to Christmas is an option.”

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