France’s threats over fishing licences appear to have backfired as the Dover-Calais route is now being reconsidered by the UK.
According to government sources, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has asked Transport Secretary Grant Shapps to investigate the possibility of using the Port of Immingham in Grimsby and ports in Belgium as an alternative trade route following the recent threats from France to cut off energy supplies and increase checks for goods.
It is understood Mr Shapps will also look at the feasibility of channelling trade through Dutch and Scandinavian ports – something that according to French sources is making Paris “nervous.”
After talks with Prime Minister Boris Johnson in Glasgow, French President Macron now appears to be backing down from introducing measures. However, Government sources say Britain will continue preparing alternative trade routes.
The PM has also asked Brexit Minister Lord Frost to travel to Paris on Thursday to conduct talks with EU minister Clement Beaune to find a permanent solution to the fisheries disagreement.
A source from the UK Government welcomed the de-escalation from the French government. The source said:
In a further de-escalation of relations, French officials released the Cornelis Gert Jan, the British fishing boat they seized last week.
Environment Secretary George Eustice welcomed the move saying:
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