Ben Habib, the former Brexit Party MEP, offered his blunt analysis during a scathing assessment of the Prime Minister’s performance, which he claimed had left Britain “writhing with indecision and lack of direction”, adding: “This is not Brexit.” Mr Habib was speaking the day after French fishermen threatened to take matters into their own hands to secure access to UK waters.
Stephane Fournier, one of the dozens of fishermen awaiting a licence, warned: “All trans-Channel traffic (and) all freight in all the ports of France will be blocked.”
Last time French fishermen threatened to blockade the harbour of Channel Island Jersey, Mr Johnson ordered two Royal Navy vessels, HMS Tamar and HMS Severn, to be deployed to deal with the situation – and Mr Habib said something similar was be needed this time round.
He told Express.co.uk: “It is no surprise the French are trampling all over our waters and making ever larger demands.
“They want our fish and unless our PM stands up to them – firmly – they will go on making these demands. Why wouldn’t they?
“The purpose of the Royal Navy is to protect the United Kingdom – the Prime Minister must use it.
“Macron himself has an election to win next year. What better way to energise grassroots support than to repeatedly bash the Brits over the head?”
Mr Johnson’s Brexit claims were “false from the start”, Mr Habib claimed.
He explained: “He made promise after promise observed only in the breach.
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“The worst of these was that the country would leave the EU as one United Kingdom.
“As he was crafting this emotive but vital declaration he was busy negotiating the Protocol which left Northern Ireland behind.”
Mr Habib added: “Repeatedly he said we would have full control of our fishing waters, with annual quotas being set by us at our discretion based on our needs.
“Then he signed up to a fishing deal which grants rights to French fishermen virtually in perpetuity – do not believe any government minister claiming these rights end in 2026 – that would be a lie.
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“The rods he made for his own back are now beating down on him.”
Speaking on Tuesday Maros Sefcovic, the European Commission vice-president, poured cold water on any idea of a breakthrough in the coming days, pointing the finger at opposite number Lord David Frost, the UK’s Brexit minister.
Mr Habib said: “Maros Sefcovic is a Eurocrat but I have sympathy with his complaint that the Brits lack political will.
“It is our PM that thought up and agreed the Protocol, only to then threaten it with the Internal Market Bill; dropping Northern Ireland from that Bill a few weeks later.
“It is our PM that is busy implementing the Protocol whilst railing against it.”
Additionally, it was Mr Johnson who had simultaneously refused to accept the role of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) over Northern Ireland while “bowing” to the bloc’s top court, and who was refusing to invoke Article 16, Mr Habib added.
He said: “Frankly, if I were Sefcovic I would want Article 16 invoked. It would provide clarity for him and the EU. Right now, it is the UK which is writhing with indecision and lack of direction.
“All our Brexit problems emanate from our PM who, as is typical of him, has made various promises to various stakeholders to gain favour without thinking through the implications or his ability to deliver.
“What he has delivered is, by his own definition, not Brexit.
“The British people deserve a lot better. We need a PM who will stand up for our Union and our resources.
“Unless and until Johnson does so, the EU will continue to trample all over us.”
Express.co.uk has contacted Downing Street for comment.
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