Macron will cave! French president's 'bad cop' plot backfires as EU expert exposes plan

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The accusation came from Mujtaba Rahman, the managing director for Europe at Eurasia Group, who argued the French President and his sidekick Clement Beaune are merely playing the part when they talk tough against Brexit Britain.

Mr Rahman said: “France’s position follows a pattern.

“Macron/Beaune like to play the hard cop partly because no one else will.

“But France will go with the majority in the end.

“Of course they’re also right.

“UK getting away with thumbing its nose to EU would also delight anti-EU know-nothings in France like Le Pen.”

It comes as Mr Beaune launched yet another scathing attack on the UK on Thursday, claiming the EU is entitled to issue legal proceedings against Boris Johnson’s Government unless it respects its post-Brexit commitments.

The French European Affairs Minister told the Public Senat TV channel on Thursday: “I’m very worried by the British behaviour so far on the respect of the agreement which we signed.

“Particularly on fishing and the Northern Irish protocol.

“If it is not respected, we will take retaliatory action.”

On Thursday evening, a few hours ahead of the G7 summit in Cornwall, Emmanuel Macron also warned the Brexit deal could not be renegotiated.

READ MORE: ‘Excessively burdensome!’ Boris Johnson bemoans EU’s approach to trade

The EU has threatened to launch a trade war against Britain if it fails to implement checks on goods entering Northern Ireland under the terms of the Brexit “divorce” settlement which Mr Johnson signed.

The prospect of a “sausage war” trade dispute came after Brexit minister Lord Frost refused to rule out the possibility that the UK could unilaterally delay imposing checks on British-made chilled meats which are due to come into force at the end of the month.

The Protocol effectively keeps Northern Ireland in the European single market in order to avoid a hard border with Ireland, meaning a trade barrier in the Irish Sea for goods crossing from Great Britain.

Mr Johnson, who will hold talks with EU leaders over the course of the G7 summit, told the BBC: “You will understand that there are ways of enforcing the protocol, ways of making it work, that may be excessively burdensome.

“I just give you one statistic: 20 percent of the checks conducted across the whole of the perimeter of the EU are now done in Northern Ireland, three times as many as happen in Rotterdam.”

The new post-Brexit arrangements came into effect on January 1 and the dispute is still simmering, but Mr Johnson insisted “I think we can sort it out”.

US President Joe Biden, who has Irish ancestry, is taking a close interest in the dispute and has warned against anything that could destabilise the arrangements put in place by the Good Friday Agreement.

The Brexit dispute has inflamed tensions for unionists in Northern Ireland, who dislike barriers with Great Britain.

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