The Environment Secretary amused MPs in the House of Commons recalling how the French President was left livid over the weekend, when he found out his fishermen will no longer have unlimited access to British waters. As he was answering questions on post-Brexit fishing rights in the lower chamber, Mr Gove said: “The truth is that as an independent coastal state we will be able to decide who comes into our waters and on what terms.” And, calling Mr Macron a “Jupiterian president”, Mr Gove added: “He was speechless with rage on Sunday when he discovered that this withdrawal agreement and future political declaration would mean that France would not have access to our waters save on our terms. His anger should be a cause for celebration across this House.”
The Prime Minister’s draft Brexit deal, which include fishing rights, was approved by the 27 remaining EU member states at a special summit on Sunday.
But the victory came after a tense week for Mrs May, with Spain demanding to get a veto on any future decision taken by the UK over Gibraltar and France issuing a threat over fishing rights.
On Sunday, Mr Macron laid down red lines over the future relationship between the UK and the EU, saying Britain will be trapped in the customs union unless Downing Street gives French and EU fishermen full access to its water.
Pledging to protect his fleets, Mr Macron said: “We as 27 have a clear position on fair competition, on fish, on the subject of the EU’s regulatory autonomy, and that forms part of our lines for the future relationship talks.
“It is a lever, because it is in our mutual interest to have this future relationship.
“I can’t imagine that the desire of Theresa May or her supporters is to remain for the long term in a customs union, but to define a proper future relationship which resolves this problem.
“We will concentrate our efforts in order to obtain access to the British waters before the end of the transition period. And of course all of our fishermen will be protected.”
READ MORE: FRANCE BLACKMAILS BRITAIN: You want Brexit? Then we fish in your waters Macron gloats
While Mrs May caved in with Spain, she seems to have resisted Mr Macron’s pressures, reaffirming British fishermen’s desire to see the UK becoming an independent coastal state after Brexit.
During a grilling by MPs in the Liaison Committee today, Theresa May was asked how the future of UK fishermen and consumers will be following March 29 2019, the day Britain will leave the European Union.
Agriculture Minister George Eustice said he had always been “very optimistic” about the opportunities from Brexit.
He added: “In a no-deal Brexit, the UK would be free to set its own trade policy unilaterally – the options open to us would be to create autonomous tariff rate quotas or tariff rate suspensions or indeed a lower bound tariff on those goods where we wish to do so, but we would have independent trade policy in a no deal Brexit.”
Earlier today, Tory former minister Sir Edward Leigh had demanded the Government to be more optimistic over Brexit and stop spreading Project Fear-like theories.
He asked: “Can the minister confirm that under a clean global free-trade Brexit, the United Kingdom will be able to protect farmers with tariffs – just like every other country – and provide more help for smaller farmers.
“And that can we have more optimism from the Government and less of project fear with gumboots on?”