After France claimed that Britain was only interested in proving that Brexit was wrong, Britain’s bitter fishing dispute widened with France.

Boris Johnson went on the offensive in the row over rights as he warned the EU not to side with France and Brexit minister Lord Frost threatened to take legal action.

It happened as the Prime Minister had an awkward encounter with President Emmanuel Macron on the world stage, sharing a fist bump ahead of what are likely to be very scratchy discussions later today.

France has threatened border and port sanctions, including increased checks on British vessels, a ‘go-slow’ at customs and increased tariffs on energy bills in Jersey, unless more fishing licences are issued by the UK for small French boats by Tuesday – but the Government showed little appetite for backing down.

One senior UK official said: ‘The French have made their position abundantly clear. They are not interested in a positive and constructive relationship, but only in trying to show that Brexit was a mistake.’

Another added: ‘From explicit warnings about stopping energy supply to Jersey to public threats about imposing customs controls unless we comply with their demands, this has been a concerted effort to undermine and now breach the terms of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement.’

The Government insists that France’s claim that Britain has not responded to requests to grant more licences is wrong and it has been transparent throughout.

A source said: ‘We’ve been through painstaking discussions on every single French vessel in question, and have acted at all times in accordance with the deal struck with the EU. It’s incredibly disappointing to see France resorting to these threats.’

But Mr Macron’s Europe Minister Clement Beaune said that unless the UK made ‘significant’ concession on licences for French fishermen, France would respond with ‘proportionate measures’, potentially including a blockade at French ports. 

Lord Frost yesterday blasted a ‘pattern’ of threats made by France to Britain and said the UK Government is ‘actively considering’ starting legal proceedings against the country.

The Conservative peer rallied against remarks made by Jean Castex, French prime minister, in a letter addressed to Ms Von Der Leyen, stating that the UK causes more damage to leave than to stay in the EU.

Lord Frost stated: “To see it expressed this way is clearly very troubling, and very problematic in today’s context when we’re trying to solve many highly sensitive problems, including the Northern Ireland Protocol.”

Mr Johnson slammed the ‘rhetoric’ coming out of Paris and warned that threats – including a go-slow on goods at Calais and blocking British trawlers from French ports – were ‘completely unjustifiable’ and likely broke international law. 

Britain's bitter fishing dispute with France deepened last night after it was claimed the French were 'only interested in trying to show that Brexit was a mistake'. Pictured: Boris Johnson takes up his position just behind France's Emmanuel Macron and next to EU commission chief Ursula Von Der Leyen

After France claimed that they were only interested in proving that Brexit was wrong, Britain’s bitter fishing dispute widened with France last night. Pictured: Boris Johnson is placed just behind France’s Emmanuel Macron, and next to Ursula Von Der Leyen (EU commission chief).

Boris Johnson and Emmanuel Macron put on a show as G20 leaders posed for their family photo at a Rome summit today

Boris Johnson, Emmanuel Macron and others put on a show while G20 leaders posed for a family picture at a Rome summit today 

France has threatened border and port sanctions, including increased checks on British vessels, a ¿go-slow¿ at customs and increased tariffs on energy bills in Jersey, unless more fishing licences are issued by the UK for small French boats by Tuesday. Pictured: French fisherman in the fishing town of Port En Bessin

France has threatened border and port sanctions, including increased checks on British vessels, a ‘go-slow’ at customs and increased tariffs on energy bills in Jersey, unless more fishing licences are issued by the UK for small French boats by Tuesday. Pictured: French fisherman in the fishing town of Port En Bessin

Emmanuel Macron and Mr Johnson fist bumped despite gearing up for a potential showdown over fisheries

Despite being ready for a possible showdown over fisheries, Emmanuel Macron and Mr Johnson got bumped

Mr Johnson seemed to be having a more taxing time at the summit centre today as he talked to other leaders

As he spoke with other leaders, Johnson seemed to have a more difficult time at the summit centre today.

Mr Johnson and Mr Macron had a toe-curling fist pump as they lined up for the ‘family picture’ at the summit yesterday afternoon.

No10 insists they are ‘friends’ despite mounting sabre-rattling, which comes months before a tough French presidential campaign.

However, the pair are expected have a heated exchange over the issues during a meeting today.

A Downing Street report of the discussion with Ms Von Der Leyen stated that the Prime Minister also expressed concern about recent French Government rhetoric regarding the issue of fishing licenses. 

“The Prime Minster stressed the fact that the French threats are completely unjustified and don’t seem to be compatible with either the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (or wider international law).

“The Prime Minister stated that the UK had granted 98% of EU vessel licence applications to fish in UK waters, and is happy to accept any additional evidence for the remaining 21%.   

Paris has threatened to increase British boat inspections, establish a ‘go slow’ strategy with Calais customs, and raise tariffs on energy bills for Jersey.

They want Britain to give more licences for French fishermen to access British waterways. This is what they have attempted to do to bring the EU into the battle against PM Castex. Ms Von Der Leyen also attends the summit this weekend. 

Lord Frost today condemned the ‘pattern of threats’ coming from France. He added: ‘The threats made by France this week to our fishing industry, to energy supplies, and to future co-operation, for example through the Horizon research programme, unfortunately form part of a pattern that has persisted for much of this year.’ 

“As I stated yesterday to Maros Sefcovic, vice-president of the European Commission, these threats, if implemented on Nov 2, would cause the EU to breach its obligations under our trade accord. So we are currently considering initiating dispute resolution proceedings, as set forth in Article 738 (TCA).

Johnson spoke out in a series of broadcast interviews this morning warning that the UK could trigger the dispute procedure in the post-Brexit trading agreement as soon as next week. 

However, Calais’ chief port official warned that Britain could be in for a ‘disaster if Mr Macron continues to threaten to stop British trawlers entering French ports.   

Johnson responded to questions about the situation by saying: “We are very keen on working with our friends, and partners on all of these issues. If another European country wants to break the TCA – the Trade and Co-operation agreement – then obviously we will have to take steps to protect UK interests.

“If there is a violation of the treaty, or we believe there is, then we will do our best to protect British interests.” 

Mr Johnson and Mr Macron will be discussing the Iran nuclear program in Rome today with Joe Biden, Angela Merkel, and will meet at the summit today.  

The captain leaves the scallop trawler Cornelis-Gert Jan with his lawyer. The boat has been impounded by the French Gendarmerie Maritime for illegally fishing in the Bay of the Seine

The captain departs the scallop trawler Cornelis -Gert Jan along with his lawyer. The French Gendarmerie Maritime has impounded the boat because it was illegally fishing in the Bay of the Seine.

French fisherman in the French fishing town of Port En Bessin, Northern France. After France called on Brussels to punish the UK for Brexit by retaliating in the dispute over granting fishing licences for British waters, Mr Johnson slammed the 'rhetoric' coming out of Paris

French fisherman at Port En Bessin in Northern France. After France demanded from Brussels that the UK be punished for Brexit, Mr Johnson lashed out at the ‘rhetoric coming out Paris’.

Mr Johnson also joked around with US president Joe Biden at the summit in Rome this afternoon

At the summit in Rome this afternoon, Mr Johnson also had a laugh with Joe Biden, the US president. 

Mr Biden and Mr Johnson appeared to have dropped something at one point during their chat

During their chat, Mr Johnson and Mr Biden appeared to have misplaced something.

G20 state leaders pose during a photograph session at the start of the G20 summit in Rome

G20 leaders pose for a photo session during the G20 summit in Rome

Mrs Johnson is pictured arriving for the first day of the G20 summit, as spouses of the world leaders headed inside

Mrs Johnson arrives at the G20 summit’s first day as her spouses travel inside. 

Mr Johnson poses with Ms Ursula von der Leyen prior to a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Rome

Before a bilateral meeting in Rome, Mr Johnson poses with Ms Ursula von der Leyen.

Mr Johnson and Ms von der Leyen laughed ahead of a meeting on the sidelines of the G20 on Saturday

Ms von der Leyen and Mr Johnson laughed before a meeting at the G20 on Saturday

Mr Johnson, Mr Macron, German outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel and US President Joe Biden pose within a meeting about the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on the sidelines of the G20

On the sidelines of G20, Mr Johnson, Mr Macron and Angela Merkel, the German outgoing Chancellor, pose with Joe Biden, the US President.

France’s ambassador to London Catherine Colonna was hauled in by Foreign Secretary Liz Truss yesterday to face questioning and ‘explain the disappointing and disproportionate threats made against the UK and Channel Islands’.

Two Royal Navy patrol ships were reported to be in a state called ‘high readiness’ in the event of further fallout. However, there was no immediate indication that they would be needed.  

Johnson is using G20 summit to gain momentum for the COP26 gathering. He has admitted that the odds of the climate conference being a success are only “six out 10”, and has been begging China to do more.  

The premier enjoyed some light relief in Rome, including a walk on the famous Spanish Steps last night with his wife Carrie. 

Today, Mrs Johnson was given a tour through the Colosseum by other leaders’ spouses. 

Climate change protests  have been taking place outside the 'ring of steel' established to protect world leaders in Rome

Climate change protests  have been taking place outside the ‘ring of steel’ established to protect world leaders in Rome 

Police in riot gear clear the road by moving the Climate Camp activists blocking the road leading to the G20 summit

Police in riot gear move Climate Camp activists that were blocking the road leading up to the G20 summit.

Only six percent of COP successes are possible, according to PM 

Boris Johnson today admitted that the chance of COP26 being a success is just six out of 10 as he begged China to do more to stop climate change.

In a series of interviews, the PM stated that the outcome of the G20 summit in Rome was still in question.

He painted a grim picture of the consequences of failure to act by world leaders, with civilisation at danger of falling back into the “Dark Ages”.

He stated that the Roman Empire could no longer control its borders after it collapsed. Climate change could lead to similar disasters with ‘contests of water, for food’.   

While the premier acknowledged that there would be ‘costs to moving to a net zero economy – which he had promised the UK would do by 2020 – he said it would also generate high-skilled, well-paid jobs. 

He said, “If you increase the temperature of the Earth by 4 degrees or more, as they are expected to do remorselessly,” he said.

‘You produce shortages, you produce desertification, habitat loss, movements… contests for water, for food, huge movements of peoples. 

“Those are the things that are going be politically very very difficult. Uncontrolled immigration was the main reason why the Roman Empire fell. 

“The Empire couldn’t control its borders anymore, people came from the east, all across the place and we went into Dark Ages, Europe went through a Dark Ages which lasted a very long while. 

“The point of that is not to say it can’t happen again.” People should not think that history is a one way ratchet.  

The French allies of Macron are making a mockery of the Conservative Party. Macron is expected to face a difficult presidential election battle next year.  

The PM’s spokesperson told reporters in Rome that Mr Johnson regards Mr Macron as a friend.

The spokesperson said that France’s threats were not appropriate. He stated that they are acting within the legal boundaries established by the TCA and will continue to do so. 

He said, “Should France continue with the threats they have made, we will act in proportionate and measured manner.” 

According to the spokesman, Johnson did not want France’s spat to distract from the climate change issue. Instead, the ‘whole’ world should be focused on COP solutions.

He said that he believed there were more fish to fry than the PM had stated. 

The spokesman for the UK said that the UK should be punished because it voted to leave the EU.

French ships were being granted licences, the spokesperson stated. “It is a matter of fact that if boats can provide historical data.. they’ll be granted a license.

He said that Macron is a friend and France is an enduring allie when he was asked about the awkward fist-bump.  

Castex, in his explosively leaked letter to EU commission, stated: ‘It seems necessary for European Union to demonstrate its full determination and obtain full compliance by the United Kingdom and asserts its rights by using its levers in a firm.

“It is crucial to make it clear that the European public opinion is aware that compliance with the commitments made is non-negotiable, and that leaving the Union would be more harmful than staying in it.

The letter came as Macron suggested that the UK had not kept its Brexit promises. 

Speaking in an interview with the Financial Times, he said the UK’s ‘credibility’ was at stake over the dispute in what will be seen as a reference to the handling of post-Brexit fishing licences. 

He stated that if you spend years negotiating an agreement and then decide to do the opposite on the areas that are most favorable to you, it does not indicate your credibility. 

Mr Johnson warned world leaders ‘the future of civilisation is at stake’ and compared climate change to the fall of the Roman Empire as he arrived in Rome.

In an apocalyptic vision of the future, Mr Johnson claimed society could return to the dark ages with ‘terrifying’ speed.

He suggested that the future generations could fall into illiteracy, and even suggested that cows could shrink.

Mr Johnson and Australian counterpart Scott Morrison clowned around for the cameras before their talks this afternoon

Before their talks, Scott Morrison, the Australian counterpart to Mr Johnson, played for the cameras.

Mr Johnson touches elbows with Mr Morrison prior to a bilateral meeting

Before a bilateral meeting, Mr Johnson touches shoulders with Mr Morrison

Mr Johnson held bilateral talks with Canadian PM Justin Trudeau today, congratulating him on being re-elected

Today, Mr Johnson had bilateral talks with Justin Trudeau (Canadian PM) and congratulated him for being reelected. 

Vladimir Putin addressed the G20 summit by video-link today. He has not be travelled since the pandemic took hold

Today, Vladimir Putin addressed the G20 summit via video-link. Since the pandemic, he has not been to Europe.

Carrie Johnson was given a tour of the Colosseum with other spouses while world leaders had their discussions at the summit centre in Rome today

Carrie Johnson was taken on a tour of Colosseum by her spouse, while world leaders met at the summit center in Rome today.

Mrs Johnson visits the Colosseum alongside partners of world leaders during the G20 spousal programme

Mrs Johnson visits Colosseum along with partners of world leaders as part of the G20 Spousal Programme

The spouses of the world leaders pose during a photoshoot at the Colosseum during the G20 summit

The spouses of world leaders pose during a photo shoot at the Colosseum during G20 summit

Mr Johnson had a warm greeting with Mr Biden as they attended the plenary session of talks in Rome today

As they attended the plenary session in Rome today, Mr Johnson greeted Mr Biden warmly

Mr Macron had an effusive greeting for Mr Biden after the pair settled their differences over the AUKUS defence pact

After the pair had settled their differences over AUKUS defence pact, Mr Macron sent Mr Biden a warm greeting

He claimed that civilisation lost the ability to draw properly after the fall of Rome. Accordingly, ‘our children’, ‘our grandchildren’, and ‘our great grandchildren’ could be facing food and water shortages.   

Antonio Guterres, Secretary General of the United Nations, has asked G20 leaders to be more ambitious and take more action to help climate goals.

Guterres stated that ‘We are still on the time to get things on track, and the G20 meeting offers the opportunity to do so,’

Mario Draghi, the Italian Prime Minister, met with leaders as they arrived at the futuristic convention center known as the “Nuvola” (cloud in EUR), a district in southern Rome that Benito Mussolini built to glorify his fascist regime.

Yesterday’s visit by Joe Biden, the US President, was an attempt to reverse the Trump years of turmoil and show that America is once again leading the world.

However, the Democrat faces a credibility challenge as his signature climate policy – part of a sweeping economy package – is hampered by infighting within Congress.

Biden met Pope Francis, then Macron. He admitted that Washington was ‘clumsy in handling a submarine agreement with Australia and Britain that left Paris in the cold.

Russia’s Vladimir Putin, China’s Xi Jinping, are not in Rome. They are only attending via video link. However, other leaders are using the first in-person G20 meeting for more than two decades to hold a flurry bilaterals. 

Following violent protests in Rome earlier this month about the extension of Italy’s coronavirus passe to workplaces, security is tightening in Rome.

Draghi has called on the G20 to make a commitment to limit temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels. This is the highest target in the 2015 Paris Agreement.

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi greets Mr Johnson as he arrives for the G20 leaders summit

Mario Draghi, the Italian Prime Minister, greets Mr Johnson upon his arrival at the G20 leaders summit

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is also at the G20 summit in Rome today after delivering his Budget package this week

Today, the G20 summit in Rome is also attended by Chancellor Rishi Sonak. He has delivered his Budget package this week.

As the sun rose over Italy this morning the Prime Minister was offered a tour of the Colosseum, where gladiators fought in ancient Rome

This morning, the sun rose over Italy and the Prime Minister was given a tour of Colosseum, where gladiators once fought in ancient Rome. 

The Prime Minister visited the Colosseum this morning, after yesterday offering an apocalyptic vision of the future

After yesterday’s vision of a future apocalyptic vision, the Prime Minister visited Colosseum this morning.

A large crowd of students holding homemade banners descended on the venue for the G20 summit in Rome on Saturday

On Saturday, a large number of students with homemade banners gathered at the Rome venue to witness the G20 summit.

One banner called for the 'future' during a demonstration in Rome against the precariousness of education in Italy

One banner called for the “future” during a demonstration against the precariousness in education in Italy.

Johnson, who will host the UN climate summit next Tuesday, stated that neither the G20 or the COP26 meetings can prevent global warming and that ‘the only thing we can do is slow it down’. 

Disparities between world powers will make it difficult for the G20 to succeed.

China, the world’s largest polluter and responsible more than 25% of all carbon emissions, was accused of ignoring calls to cease building new coal-fired power stations.

Beijing’s new plan, submitted to the UN prior to COP26, was not up to environmentalists’ standards. The UN set a 2060 date to achieve carbon neutrality.

Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil, however, insists on having his country compensated for protecting its Amazonian share.

The world’s largest rainforest can be considered a vital resource for combating climate change due to its ability to absorb carbon fuel emissions.

The comments made by Mr Johnson about the Roman Empire came amid fears that the Glasgow gathering might be a damp squib. China’s premier Xi confirmed that he will not be attending, but he will give a speech over video link.

Putin, along with Bolsanaro, is also shunned from the summit. 

COP26 begins in Glasgow on Sunday and will look to build on agreements made at the Paris climate summit in 2015 where nations agreed to try to keep global heating to below 1.5C

COP26 will begin in Glasgow on Sunday. It will build on the Paris climate summit’s 2015 agreements, where nations committed to keeping global warming below 1.5C.

He said, “We could condemn our children, our grandchildren, and our great-grandchildren, to a world in which there are large movements of people and huge migrations, as well as shortages of food and water, and conflict caused climate change. This is a reality that must be faced.”

Johnson said that humanity became less literate after the Roman civilisation.

“Look at evidence of fall and fall in Roman Empire, if you are unsure of what I mean. People lost the ability of reading and writing, lost the ability of drawing properly, and lost the ability of building like the Romans.

He said, “Things can go backwards, and they can do so at a really frightening speed.”

COP26 begins on Sunday at Glasgow’s Scottish Event Campus (SEC) and will welcome 30,000 delegates, 10,000 police and as many as 200,000 protesters for the 13-day conference.

Britain was this week preparing to retaliate after a UK trawler - the Cornelis Gert Jan (pictured right in in Le Havre, France, October 28, 2021) - was detained by France amid fears the fishing row could spark a full-blown trade war

Britain was this week preparing to retaliate after a UK trawler – the Cornelis Gert Jan (pictured right in in Le Havre, France, October 28, 2021) – was detained by France amid fears the fishing row could spark a full-blown trade war

Pictured: French gendarmes aboard the Cornelis-Gert Jan scallop boat which has been impounded by the French Gendarmerie Maritime for illegally fishing in the Bay of the Seine in french waters

Pictured: French gendarmes aboard the Cornelis-Gert Jan scallop boat which has been impounded by the French Gendarmerie Maritime for illegally fishing in the Bay of the Seine in french waters

After French authorities claimed it didn’t have a licence, the Cornelis Gertjan was ordered to divert towards Le Havre in a dramatic intensification this week of the row over post Brexit fishing rights.

The boss of the trawler claimed that his vessel was being used in a dispute as a pawn and attacked the ‘politically motivated French. A second vessel was also punished by the officials. 

French ministers have warned that they will block British vessels from French ports and tighten controls on vessels traveling between France and the UK if the post-Brexit issue of fishing licenses isn’t resolved by Tuesday (November 2nd). This could also threaten the supply of electricity to the Channel Islands. 

According to reports, Ministers were given options for retaliation if Paris continued with its threat next week. One such option included further restricting French fishing access in UK waters.

Another potential move on the table in the ‘options paper’, presented to a Cabinet sub-committee chaired by Lord Frost, is the stepping up of checks on French vessels landing in UK ports, according to the Daily Telegraph. 

According to reports, Macron is being confronted at the G20 meeting. The UK’s ambassador in Paris is also being dispatched. However, Government sources tell the newspaper that Macron has not been scheduled to meet in Italy and that retaliatory actions would depend on France’s actions.

George Eustice, Environment minister, warned of retaliatory actions on Thursay. He said that France could continue with its threats and that “Two can play at this game and we reserve our ability to respond in proportionately.” 

The Cornelis, its eight crewmen, and the crew languished in port. The crew was told to stay aboard. There was no indication as to when it would be allowed off-board, as Thursday night.

It has a French tricolour appearance with its blue hull and white bridge, as well as red winches. 

Andrew Brown, the director of MacDuff Shellfish, the boat’s owner, said to the Daily Mail that the French were ‘exploiting’ the confusion caused by post-Brexit paperwork.