The UK convened a French ambassador on Thursday to announce a “threat” on post-Brexit fishery rights. A few hours after French Prime Minister Jean Castex offered to open negotiations to resolve an increasingly fierce conflict. Both
are discussing the license terms for EU boats that they would like to operate in the waters around the United Kingdom and the Channel Islands.
France resents the refusal of ships by Britain and the autonomous islands of Jersey and Guernsey, which rely on London for defense and foreign policy.
Castex said “we can talk at any time,” but a few hours later, British Foreign Minister Liz Truss called the French envoy to explain “a disproportionate threat to Britain and the Channel Islands.” I tweeted that I did.
France warns that continued denial of licenses will lead to retaliation as early as next week, including time-consuming control of all products and a ban on the landing of British vessels.
French officials fined two British vessels fishing for scallops on Wednesday. One of them was arrested in Le Havre.
“This is a battle, not a war. French fishermen have rights, an agreement has been signed and the agreement must be fulfilled,” said Maritime Minister Annick Girardin.
According to French authorities, more than 200 French fishermen are waiting for permission to sail 10-12 miles from the British coast, especially in the waters around Jersey.
Girardin denied the UK claim that 98% of access requests were approved by EU vessels, with an actual number of 90%.
“And the unlicensed people are French, except for one or two Belgians,” she said.
“Coordinated response” The
Jersey government said it was “extremely disappointed” with the French threat and “progressed” at a Wednesday meeting attended by EU officials. It is said that fewer boats are banned from the waters than before
France’s European Minister Clement Beaune said his country should use a “language of violence” because it is “the only language this British government can understand”.
He said a second retaliation could continue if no progress was made, such as higher electricity prices in Jersey and other Channel Islands purchasing electricity from France.
London has promised a “proper and coordinated response” to French measures as British fishing relies on French ports as a gateway to Europe, the main export market.
The owner of the arrested British trawler said he was legally fishing in French waters and the fines appeared to be “political motivation.”
“We don’t have this problem yet,” Andrew Brown, director of Macduff Shellfish in Scotland, told AFP. A French prosecutor at
Le Havre said the captain of a trawler could be fined up to € 75,000 (US $ 87,000) in addition to the possibility of an “administrative fine”.
“Harmful” Measures Apart from France’s targeted measures against the
fishing sector, broader customs controls can significantly delay trade with the United Kingdom.
In Brussels, an EU spokesman said a meeting between Britain and France would take place to resolve the dispute.
“The trade cooperation agreement with the United Kingdom is clear: fishing vessels in these waters should be allowed to continue,” a spokesman said.
French fishermen say Brexit is being used as an excuse to discourage obtaining a license that claims to have been practicing in British waters for years.
Barry Dies, head of the British Federation of Fisheries Organizations, warned that French boats would lose the most in the “Tat for Tat” conflict.
“It’s a bit strange because the French fleet catches far more fish in British waters than we do in their waters,” he told the BBC. The French Fish Store Coalition, which represents
490 companies, supported Paris’ efforts to enforce the law, but sounded a warning to prevent British boats from landing their catch and to strengthen control of agricultural products. I did.
“The domestic market is partially dependent on British imports,” he said, warning of “simple and harmful” measures.