EMMANUEL Macron tonight blinked in his threat to trigger a Brexit trade war after being stared down by Boris Johnson in Glasgow.
France’s President said crisis talks would continue in Brussels tomorrow – missing his midnight deadline for Britain to fold and give his fishermen more post-Brexit access to UK fishing waters.
The temporary surrender came after stern Foreign Secretary Liz Truss warned that France faced legal action by Britain as soon as tomorrow night if they pulled the trigger on threats to punish the UK over Brexit.
After crisis talks on Monday night, and another showdown with the PM, Mr Macron abandoned his vow to launch revenge plans tonight – but did not rule out doing so later in the week.
He told reporters in Glasgow he had made a new proposal to defuse the row, saying: “The talks need to continue.”
He added: “We’ll see where we are tomorrow at the end of the day, to see if things have really changed.”
A source close to the talks claimed Macron had gone from “le strop to le climbdown” after being abandoned by EU allies in his hard liner anti-UK stance.
Had Mr Macron not climbdown, lorries heading to the UK could have faced extra red tape and checks, risking chaos at Calais and Dover.
British trawlers would have also faced more boarding by French cops and been banned from landing their catches at the country’s ports.
But Mr Macron’s own fishermen warned his efforts to punish Britain may do them more harm than good.
Skippers have been warned not to venture into UK waters in case they’re caught up in a tit-for-tat war over access as Britain warned France will face a “robust” response for any action.
No 10 had insisted it’s ready to face down French threats and urged Paris to drop its punishment plans while there’s still time.
Furious Liz Truss slammed the “unwarranted” threats from Mr Macron and told him: “We simply won’t stand for that.”
She accused the French president of “behaving unfairly” and showboating to domestic voters, warning Britain won’t hesitate to immediately trigger legal action against his country.
And she fumed: “The French have made completely unreasonable threats, including to the Channel Islands and to our fishing industry.
“If somebody behaves unfairly in a trade deal you’re entitled to take action against them and seek compensatory measures.
“That’s what we’ll do if the French don’t back down. We are simply not going to roll over in the face of these threats.”
A Downing St spokesman said: “As you would expect, we have robust contingency plans in place.
“It is the French that made these threats and we are continuing to call for them to step back from those threats.”