UK, France fight over fishing: Britain prepares for close talks with EU | Politics | New
Olivier Lepretre, president of the Regional Maritime Fisheries Committee for northern France, confirmed the meeting for the start of next week. Angry French fishermen had threatened to demonstrate this weekend if progress was not made on the issue. The National Maritime Fishermen’s Committee (CNPMEM) had said ongoing talks with the UK had only resulted in a handful of fishing licenses for French fishermen in UK waters.
The association said Britain’s resignation was not enough as the two sides attempt to resolve the post-Brexit dispute between Britain and France.
A CNPMEM statement said that French Minister of the Sea, Annick Girardin, assured fishermen that she would not give up the fight to secure post-Brexit licenses for French fishermen.
Earlier this week, the fishing feud erupted when France set a two-week deadline for Britain and Jersey to give French fishermen better access to their coastal waters.
France remained furious after the UK approved just 15 licenses out of 47 applications for French small fishing vessels to operate in its coastal waters.
This anger escalated further when Jersey, which depends on France for 95 percent of its electricity supply, issued 66 full licenses and 31 temporary authorizations, but denied 73 applications.
EU boats have until the end of the month to provide data proving their right to fish in the waters of the Channel Island after Brexit.
In a meeting with the European Commission and representatives of the French fishing industry earlier this week, Ms Girardin gave Britain and Jersey until November 1 to approve more licenses.
The minister reportedly told European Commission Vice-President Maros Sefcovic and Fisheries Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevicius that France was ready to retaliate if Britain and Jersey did not grant more licenses to its fishermen , according to the Daily Telegraph.
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“Nothing is excluded today, neither by France nor by the European Commission.”
Earlier this month, representatives of the French fishing industry threatened to block the port of Calais and halt exports to the UK in the run-up to Christmas.
This came after France’s Europe Minister Clément Beaune warned that EU member states were preparing to announce measures to put pressure on the UK to abide by the terms of the l ‘Brexit deal.
He went on a rampage: “We stand up for our interests. We do it nicely, and diplomatically, but when it doesn’t work, we take action.
“For example, one can imagine, since we are talking about energy, the UK depends on our energy supplies.
“He thinks he can live on his own, and denigrate Europe.”
But UK Brexit Minister Lord Frost fired back: “We have granted 98% of the license applications for EU vessels to fish in our waters under the various criteria in the trade and cooperation agreement, we do not ‘So let’s not accept that we are not respecting this agreement.
“We have been extremely generous and the French, focusing on a small category of boats and claiming that we have behaved unreasonably, I think that does not really reflect the efforts that we have put in.”