Nigel Farage explained that the latest attack on British fishing boats from French vessels – in the midst of deadlocked Brexit talks – shows exactly “why fishing matters”. The Brexiteer said it was time for Britain to “end this constant bullying”. This comes amid a crucial EU summit over the next two days in Brussels, as Boris Johnson’s self-imposed deadline for a deal expires.
Earlier this week, a dangerous clash erupted between French and British boats off the Normandy coast.
Footage from two Brixham boats showed French boats obstructing British scallopers, firing a flare at them and escorting them out of the Baie de Seine.
It was also claimed that the British boats were “pelted with rocks, frying pans and oil”.
The skirmish in the English Channel took place at about 1.30am on Monday.
Nigel Farage raged at this, posting footage of the attack and tweeting: “We must stand up for our nation and end this constant bullying.
“Sufficient naval vessels must defend our interests.
“As EU negotiations continue, this video shows why fishing matters.
“Multiple French vessels are caught throwing objects and firing flares at British fishing boats, attacking under the cover of darkness.
“Excuse the language in this film but what happened was extremely dangerous.”
Brexiteers responded to the latest attack with outrage, questioning why the UK Government was not “sending the navy to protect our vessels”.
One user tweeted: “Yet Boris Johnson extends talks. When are we going to stick up for our country, our fishermen and our people.
“But no, we’d far rather acquiesce to people who’ve done nothing but issue daily threats and abuse. Utterly spineless Prime Minister.”
Another responded: “It’s a great example to the negotiators in support of their arguments in favour of our fishing industry. Don’t take one step back.”
Others noted: “Acts of violence, threats or intimidation should be viewed as what the are, hostile actions and be met with a forceful hostile response by the Navy.”
This comes amid growing pressure on France from inside the EU to drop its hardline fishing demands.
There is panic among member-states that Emmanuel Macron’s stubborn fishing stance could scupper hopes of a Brexit deal.
The row over fisheries remains one of the biggest stumbling blocks in finding a post-Brexit deal in the coming weeks.