Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
As I wrote elsewhere, fishing turned out to be a surprising point of contention between France in the UK. Mostly for the symbolic value: 0.1% of the GDP in both countries, but fishermen are an important constituency and the French presidential elections campaign (April 2022) is gearing up. On the Brit side, picking up a fight with the French has always been a winning diversion strategy - the tabloids are too happy to oblige.

This could get really ugly:

Frank: Is there no low to which Boris Johnson's government cannot sink?

I'm afraid we haven't seen the bottom yet. One point though: the Tories feel they can bully a small country of 5 million people that they have occupied for centuries with impunity. Trying the same playbook with a country of similar size and GDP, which controls the continental half of the strait through which the vast majority of the UK trade passes and literally controls a significant chunk of the electricity delivered to the island, is another kettle of fish entirely (pun intended). Not to mention the EU as a whole.

by Bernard (bernard) on Thu Oct 28th, 2021 at 06:26:51 PM EST
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The question was rhetorical, as you know. Tories have always been adept at fighting symbolic battles which serve to united the populace behind their leadership. It is even more necessary now as class divisions become more obvious. Boris is a past master at a "dead cat" strategy which focuses attention away from where they don't want it to be.

What the Brexiteers may not have factored into their calculations is that the French can play this game too. The EU, which has traditionally eschewed such childish behaviour could also do with some distractions from other issues - Poland, Hungary, Covid, climate change, immigration - and, without Merkel, has lost a lot of its authority.

I suspect there are some very itchy trigger fingers in Paris and Brussels just waiting for Frost to fire the first shot by triggering A. 16. "Proportional retaliation" will go out the window as Britain will hardly take the EU to the ECJ to test proportionality.

Frost and the DUP have been playing with fire and don't seem to realise how precarious their position is right now. The DUP have always over-played their hand but Frost is a pale imitation of past British masters of the genre, who always knew when they game was up and it was time to pull back.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Oct 28th, 2021 at 06:56:35 PM EST
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by Bernard (bernard) on Thu Oct 28th, 2021 at 08:36:32 PM EST
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