FRANCE is on collision course with the European Commission after it excluded French ports as part of its plans for a new shipping route linking Ireland with the bloc post-Brexit.
French Transport Minister Elisabeth Borne blasted the move, which could prevent France from accessing billions of euros in an EU grant, as "not acceptable".
In a strongly-worded letter to European Commission transport bosses, she said France and Ireland's "important trade channels" had not been taken "into account".
Ms Borne wrote a letter to the EU's transport commissioner, dated August 10, saying: "France and Ireland maintain important trade channels, both overland via Britain and via direct maritime routes.
"The geographical proximity between Ireland and France creates an obvious connection to the single market.
"Surprisingly, the Commission proposal in no way takes this into account.
The new route would connect Ireland by sea with Dutch and Belgian ports including Zeebrugge and Rotterdam.