Zoff between France and Great Britain: The British government refuses to issue sufficient licenses for French fishermen after Brexit. Now the French are threatening consequences.
France has threatened “retaliation” in the fisheries dispute with Great Britain. The government will react within a week if there are no “signals” from Great Britain for additional fishing licenses for French fishermen, said European State Secretary Clément Beaune on Wednesday evening in the French Senate. He announced an approach coordinated with the “European partners”.
At the end of last year, an agreement was signed between London and Brussels for the period after Brexit. This stipulates that European fishermen can continue to fish in British waters if they receive a permit to do so. The issuance of the permit depends on the fishermen being able to prove that they have previously worked in the areas in question.
The type and scope of the evidence are disputed between Paris and London. Great Britain has therefore not issued all of the fishing licenses applied for, so far there have been a good 200. Paris is demanding 244 additional licenses.
“This is not a French problem,” stressed Beaune. “It’s a European one.” Because Ireland and Belgium also had to complain about a lack of licenses. There will be “national or European” retaliatory measures if there are no concrete indications that London is relenting. “We have been very patient, too patient,” added the Secretary of State for Europe.
Last week, France threatened, among other things, a reduction in electricity supply to the Channel Island of Jersey and restrictions in financial services and in the research sector. At the beginning of the week, France and ten other EU countries, including Germany, criticized Great Britain in a joint statement for the fishing licenses.