Rocks, smoke bombs and other projectiles are reported to have been hurled at English and Scottish vessels during the confrontation in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
French fisherman are angry about a domestic ban preventing them from harvesting the scallop-rich region while British boats are free fish.
‘It is clear that we have insufficient ships to patrol the United Kingdom’s territorial seas and our Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ),’ Lord West wrote in the Daily Telegraph.
‘Co-ordination of the few ships we do have is fragmented. In theory, co-ordination is exercised by the co-located Joint Maritime Operations Command Centre.
‘But this command centre lacks a single commander with authority to order government departments to take action, and therefore is unable to exercise proper command. After Brexit, this will be disastrous.’
When Britain leaves the EU it will be responsible for patrolling its EEZ, rather than being part of a shared EEZ for the whole of the bloc.
EU members’ access to British fishing waters will then need to be negotiated as part of a Brexit deal.
French authorities try to preserve scallop stocks by banning their ships from fishing in the region over the summer, a measure that ends on October 1.
This law does not apply to the British, however – who anger the French mariners by harvesting scallops during this window.
Mr Johnson does not pull any punches, telling Theresa May Brexit “should be about opportunity and hope” and a “chance to do things differently”, but “that dream is dying, suffocated by needless self doubt”.
He claims crucial decisions have been postponed, including preparations for a “no deal” scenario, “with the result that we appear to be heading for a semi-Brexit, with large parts of the economy still locked in the EU system, but with no UK control over that system”.
“It now seems that the opening bid of our negotiations involves accepting that we are not actually going to be able to make our own laws,” he says.
“In that respect we are truly headed for the status of colony – and many will struggle to see the economic or political advantages of that particular arrangement.”
He said he had congratulated the PM on Friday on getting the cabinet to sign up to her proposals at their Chequers away day, admitting that there were too few ministers on his side of the argument to get their way.
The government now had a “song to sing” on Brexit, he added: “The trouble is that I have practised the words over the weekend and find that they stick in the throat”.
The ruling Conservative Party (nicknamed the Tories) thought it was going to increase its numbers in Parliament, but has instead lost seats – and its slim majority; it held 330 seats before the election (326 is the magic number for a majority).
Instead, the opposition Labour Party has won back many seats.
To cap it all off, Prime Minister Theresa May didn’t need to call this election – she did so because she thought she’d win a landslide. The result is being seen as a major defeat for her.
WITHIN hours of the Brexit referendum last summer David Cameron had resigned, and within three weeks Theresa May had succeeded him as prime minister. The speed of her ascent to power, on July 13th 2016, without a general election or a full-blown Tory leadership contest, meant that Mayism was never spelt out in any manifesto or endorsed by the electorate. Yet the new prime minister soon made clear the scale of her ambitions for Britain. Not only would she make a success of Brexit, she would also set in motion a sea-change in social mobility to correct the “burning injustices” faced by the downtrodden, and reshape “the forces of liberalism and globalisation which have held sway…across the Western world.” Her allies talked of an epochal moment, comparable to Margaret Thatcher’s break with the past in 1979. The feeble condition of the Labour opposition gave Mrs May control of a one-party state. As for her mandate, she cited the referendum: a “quiet revolution” by people “not prepared to be ignored any more”.
Yet after half a year in office there is strikingly little to show for this May revolution (see Briefing). The strategy for Brexit, which is due to be triggered in less than three months, remains undefined in any but the vaguest terms, and seems increasingly chaotic. At home, the grand talk about transforming society and taming capitalism has yielded only timid proposals, many of which have already been scaled down or withdrawn. The growing suspicion is that the Sphinx-like prime minister is guarded about her plans chiefly because she is still struggling to draw them up.
After six months it is hard to name a single signature policy, and easy to cite U-turns. Some are welcome: a silly promise to put workers on company boards, for instance, was abandoned; a dreadful plan to make firms list their foreign employees lasted less than a week; and hints at curbing the Bank of England’s independence were quietly forgotten. Selective “grammar” schools will be resurrected—but only on a small scale, and perhaps not at all, given how many Tory MPs oppose the idea. Other reversals smack of dithering. The construction of a new nuclear plant at Hinkley Point was put in doubt, then given the go-ahead; a new runway at Heathrow airport was all but agreed on, then deferred until a parliamentary vote next year. “Just-about-managing” households were the prime minister’s lodestar for a week or so, then dropped. So were suggestions that Britain would seek a transitional deal with the EU after Brexit—until they were recirculated a few weeks later when Mrs May apparently changed her mind once again.
The BBC has a pretty good rundown on how Britain if faring over two months since the Brexit vote. Basically, despite opponents’ predictions of economic and societal collapse, things are going pretty OK. As expected, the value of the Pound dropped after the vote, but stabilized. Consumer spending is fine. Trade is fine. The British seem to be holding to their character of soldiering on.
Boris Johnson has transformed the terms of the EU referendum debate by announcing that “after a huge amount of heartache” he is to throw his weight behind the campaign to take Britain out of the EU.
The London mayor announced on Sunday that he will campaign for a leave vote after concluding that David Cameron’s deal will not deliver the reformed EU he promised.
Speaking outside his home in north London, the mayor said his decision had been “agonisingly difficult”. But he added: “I would like to see a new relationship based more on trade, on cooperation, with much less of this supranational element. So that is where I’m coming from and that is why I have decided, after a huge amount of heartache, because the last thing I wanted was to go againstDavid Cameron or the government, I don’t think there is anything else I can do.
“I will be advocating Vote Leave – or whatever the team is called, I understand there are a lot of them – because I want a better deal for the people of this country, to save them money and to take control. That is really what this is all about.”
Downing Street issued a low-key response. A No 10 spokesman said: “Our message to everyone is we want Britain to have the best of both worlds: all the advantages of the jobs and investment that come with being in the EU, without the downsides of being in the euro and open borders.”
Essentially, many in Britain think that their nation’s membership in the European Union costs more than it’s worth. The increasing regulatory regime of the EU is threatening the British economy. What’s aggravating the issue is the migrant crisis in mainland Europe where their lenient migrant policies are creating huge costs and problems for which the EU wants nations like Britain to pay.
Remember that it was only in 2014 that there was a huge national debate in Britain about Scotland cleaving from Britain and becoming an independent nation again. A big part of that debate centered around Scots’ desire to join the EU as an independent nation and reap the perceived benefits that smaller, poorer nations enjoy with their EU membership. In that vote, the Scots agreed to stay part of Britain, but it wasn’t a landslide (55% to 45%). Now all of those same Scots will vote on EU membership.
Britain won’t vote until June 23rd. It’s going to be a long, passionate debate.