PUBLISHED: 18:06, Wed, Oct 14, 2020 | UPDATED: 18:08, Wed, Oct 14, 2020
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has called on Mr Macron to give ground on fisheries, warning the French President that Britain will have to walk away from Brexit talks if he does not budge. The Prime Minister spoke with Mr Macron on the telephone on Saturday with seemingly just days to go for an agreement on a future trade settlement to be struck. Mr Johnson told the key EU leader he would “explore every avenue” to secure a deal, but was prepared to leave the Brexit transition period at the end of the year on Australian-style terms if necessary.
France is a leading member of the “coastal eight” group, which is said to be digging in hardest in talks, insisting that EU countries should maintain exactly the same rights to fish in British waters.
One senior Government source told the Sunday Times the position was “ludicrous”.
However, some British officials reportedly believe Mr Macron might prefer to blame the UK for the failure of negotiations than force his fishermen to accept reduced quotas.
As tensions are set to rise in the incoming days and the clock ticks down, in a recent report, Professor of French History John Keiger shed light on Mr Macron and Mr Johnson's conversation over the weekend.
Boris Johnson and Emmanuel Macron 'NOW bound together by common Brexit desire' (Image: GETTY)
London during lockdown (Image: GETTY)
Professor Keiger, a former research director of the Department of Politics and International Studies at the University of Cambridge, argued the two leaders are now very much in the same boat – as they both desperately need a Brexit deal.
He wrote: "Emmanuel Macron and Boris Johnson have had a bad pandemic for similar reasons: lack of PPE, confused messaging on masks and quarantine, poor quality test and trace and unreliable COVID apps on phones (with the French Prime Minister and Sundry ministers confessing not to have even downloaded the French version, which is unusable with a mere 2.6 million downloads).
"Both are facing hostility from within their parties. Both are suffering in the polls.
"There isn’t much that Boris and Emmanuel can do for each other on coronavirus, but there is on Brexit.
"Both Mr Johnson and Mr Macron need a deal politically, but for different reasons."
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French President Emmanuel Macron (Image: GETTY)sonos sonos One (Gen 2) - Voice Controlled Smart Speaker with Amazon Alexa Built-in - Black read more