The UK wants to get back its fishing rights as part of a Brexit deal. The French aren’t too happy about that, but since the UK is heavily dependent on French interconnectors Macron can and is holding the UK electricity grid hostage.
Green Energy puts the UK in a much weaker negotiation position.
The French interconnectors under the Channel are needed both to import reliable nuclear power and to sell off the excess fluffy green kind of unreliable electricity that UK wind power makes at random times. The “value” of energy sales is more than the value of the fisheries (at least in hard currency). But UK imports are larger than the exports, and the UK electricity grid is so fragile it fell over last year leaving people stuck in underground trains for hours, and cutting off a million customers in an instant. The biggest weakness of all is probably the reliance on a foreign power to just keep the lights on. The cost of unplanned blackouts would trump everything else. And could the French “Break” the UK grid with plausible deniability and some inconvenient outage? Sorry but the interconnector had a fault?
I know they might not play that mean now, but who knows who’ll be in charge in France ten years from now.
Oli Smith, Express.co
Emmanuel Macron reacted furiously to Boris Johnson’s claims that trade talks are “over” between the UK and EU. Mr Macron has played hardball in the talks on fisheries, insisting on Thursday that French fishermen would “not be sacrificed” for the sake of a deal. However, if the UK leaves the EU without a deal then French fishermen could faced being banned from British waters.
In response, the French President has signalled the EU would launch a devastating energy embargo against the UK unless Boris Johnson gives in on fisheries.
Following the EU summit in Brussels on Friday, Mr Macron told French radio that if the UK does not allow French fishermen in its waters, the EU would have to block the UK’s energy supplies to the European market.
As Rafe Champion points out — energy sales are worth more than fish:
He suggested the right to fish in British waters was worth 650 million euros to EU fishermen, but that access to European energy markets was worth up to £2.3billion (€2.5bn) to the UK.
The UK imports more power than it exports. About 11% of its total power comes from the continent. Half of that is from France. 3% from the Netherlands, 2.5% from Belgium.
May 2019: The Nemo link, which runs from Richborough in Kent to Zeebrugge and which started operating at the end of January, has increased the capacity of Britain’s electricity connections with mainland Europe by a third.
What could possibly go wrong?
The Belgians and the Dutch might like fishing too.
Obviously it’s in the interest of just about every nation to trick their competitors into cutting carbon emissions with unreliable generators. Clever, shameless players talk up green energy and sign meaningless promises while making sure their own grid is reliable and cheap. Stupid gullible patsies sign up for real promises and keep them.
Which nation is the greatest patsy in this international chain?
The Greatest Green Dupe Nation on Earth surely goes to Australia with the fastest per capita increase in random generators while simultaneously sitting on 300 years worth coal and the largest uranium reserves in the world. But entries from Great Britain and others will be considered. Make your case. Green Dupes are applauded loudly at UN junkets, but screwed at the negotiation table or crushed in competitive markets.
Handy hint to our UK friends, with China being so mean to Australia, and cutting back on coal exports last week, we have some excellent value coal to spare for UK power stations to use. Just ask…
* Fishing territory corrected to “fishing rights” h/t Saighdear.