France threatens to cut UK energy supplies in latest Brexit row

5 October 2021, 15:54 | Updated: 5 October 2021, 20:39

France has threatened to 'take measures' against Boris Johnson's government in the latest Brexit row
France has threatened to 'take measures' against Boris Johnson's government in the latest Brexit row. Picture: Getty

By James Morris

France has made a veiled threat to cut off UK energy supplies in order to make Boris Johnson comply with the Brexit agreement.

Clement Beaune, France’s European affairs secretary, said the UK is not honouring the agreement and warned “measures” will be taken “in the next few days”.

He noted: “The United Kingdom depends on our energy supplies…”

Rows over the UK’s adherence to the Brexit deal have rumbled throughout the year.

Clement Beaune: 'The United Kingdom depends on our energy supplies...'
Clement Beaune: 'The United Kingdom depends on our energy supplies...'. Picture: Getty

The latest one has come after Jersey – which is not part of the UK but is a crown dependency – refused fishing permits for dozens of French boats.

And Beaune told the Europe 1 radio station today: “Enough already, we have an agreement negotiated by France, by Michel Barnier [who had been the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator], and it should be applied 100 per cent. It isn't being.

"In the next few days – and I talked to my European counterparts on this subject yesterday – we will take measures at the European level or nationally, to apply pressure on the United Kingdom.

"We defend our interests. We do it nicely, and diplomatically, but when that doesn't work, we take measures.

"For example, we can imagine, since we're talking about energy… the United Kingdom depends on our energy supplies.

“It thinks that it can live all alone, and bash Europe."

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France is a major exporter of electricity to European countries – including the UK where 47% of electricity imports were from the country last year.

Its threat comes as UK households already face soaring gas bills this winter.

However, an unnamed cabinet minister, quoted by Mail Online, said they doubted the validity of the threat. "Why would you ever go back to a provider who did that? Trust would be gone. They would be damaging themselves in the long-term."