The last thing Britain needs is an all-out trade war with France

Editorial: The first task of the British and French governments is to de-escalate the tensions – and tone down the threats and counter-threats

Thursday 28 October 2021 22:37
Comments
Fishing contributes about one-tenth of 1 per cent to the national income of each country
Fishing contributes about one-tenth of 1 per cent to the national income of each country

In normal, placid times, the routine inspection of a couple of fishing vessels doesn’t trouble news editors or cabinet ministers.

Of course, Brexit means that times will not be normal and placid for some considerable time, and thus the detention of two British boats in the English Channel by the French authorities is being treated in some political and media quarters as a virtual act of war. Or, at least, as a casus belli for a trade war that both sides will surely lose. This is absurd.

The first task of the British and French governments is to de-escalate the tensions, tone down the threats and counter-threats, and allow the usual brand of Brexit balm to be applied to the latest flare-up – an extended grace period while the prosaic business of the granting of licences can be sorted out by the French, Jersey, Guernsey and British authorities (including the SNP administration in Holyrood, given that Scottish fisherfolk are involved).

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in