Vincent Boland: Britain’s Brexit distraction tactics don’t hold water any more

Notwithstanding the bluster, the current fishing rights row is small potatoes next to the tensions that will arise between Britain and France when checks on imports are imposed at Dover

British prime minister Boris Johnson and French president Emmanuel Macron: ‘Dispute is a display of British condescension crashing into French armour propre’. Picture: Getty

When the US and Britain signed a deal a few weeks ago to supply Australia with nuclear-powered submarines, there was much self-congratulation in London. Not only did the deal supposedly showcase the notion of “Global Britain”, it had the added benefit of shoving France aside, because it scuppered an existing contract between Paris and Canberra.

The French reaction was revealing. Paris recalled its ambassadors in Washington and Canberra, but not in London. The less than ...