It’s a political row that has been going on for months. Tomorrow the European Commission is due to publish its long-awaited plans to reduce carbon emissions from passenger cars to 120 grams per kilometre within five years.

But a bitter fallout between France and Germany has plunged the key negotiations into crisis. French manufacturers such as Peugeot-Citroen have already reduced their carbon emissions to 140g for their cars, whereas German companies such as BMW, Mercedes and Daimler still lag behind on emission targets because their vehicles are heavier and higher performance models. Sweden, which also tends to make larger cars, is also thought to be unhappy about the proposals, while Italy is backing France.

“It’s a typically European fight where the national business interests of individual countries is stopping the sort of concrete agreements that could benefit everybody,” said one insider close to the talks told the Independent.

Earlier this month, BMW, Daimler and Porsche won the EU Worst Lobby Awards for their “full-scale lobbying offensive to water-down and delay the EU mandatory targets for CO2 emissions from cars, impeding progress to combat climate change.”

For some of you looking for light Xmas relief, watch the video of someone trying to give them an award for their nomination.