Saturday, March 25

London Summons French Ambassador for Post-Brexit Fishing Row

London wants to speak to the French ambassador to the UK about an ongoing dispute over post-Brexit fishing licenses.

Paris has threatened to retaliate next week after some French fishermen were denied permits to operate in UK waters.

France says that about half of the licenses applied for have not been received. He accuses London of not respecting the Brexit deal.

The post-Brexit agreement with the European Union said that fishermen could continue to fish in British waters if they obtained a license and proved that they were previously fishing there.

Earlier this week, French government spokesman Gabriel Attal said that as of November 2, customs controls on goods crossing the English Channel would be increased, including a ban on unloading seafood into the ports and truck controls, which could slow down trade.

The UK government said the threats were “disappointing” and “disproportionate”.

“The threats from France are disappointing and disproportionate, and do not correspond to what one would expect from a close ally and partner,” said a government spokesman.

On Thursday, Clément Beaune, France’s Europe minister, said: “I accept that we have made threats and had a dialogue. Now we have to speak the language of force because, unfortunately, this British government only understands that.”

Later that day, the head of British diplomacy, Liz Truss, ordered her secretary of state for Europe, Wendy Morton, to “summon the French ambassador,” a British government spokesperson announced in a statement.

What is the France-UK fishing line about?

The UK announced in September that it had approved only 12 of 47 new license applications.

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Authorities on the island of Jersey also rejected applications for licenses from 75 French vessels to operate in its waters on Wednesday.

Jersey, which is only 22 kilometers off the French coast, is a British Crown dependency outside of the United Kingdom. As such, it has its own powers regarding who can fish in its territorial waters.

France considers that the restrictions are contrary to the post-Brexit agreement that the British government signed with the European Union.

Since the UK left the EU economic orbit at the beginning of the year, relations between London and Paris have deteriorated more and more.

The fisheries dispute comes weeks after Paris was enraged by Australia’s decision to cancel a multi-million dollar order for French submarines following a new defense pact with the UK and the US.

Months earlier, the French threatened to cut power to Jersey, which gets 95% of its electricity from France. At that time, dozens of French ships surrounded the island’s main port, St. Helier. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson even sent two Royal Navy patrol boats to Jersey.

The concern is that Jersey’s latest decision could lead to something similar happening again.

A closer look at the Jersey decision showed that the island government granted 64 licenses out of the 170 French ships they applied for. Another 31 vessels are receiving temporary licenses to give them more time to prove they have a fishing history in Jersey waters and comply with Jersey’s interpretation of the UK-EU trade agreement.

Boats that were not granted a license were given 30 days to leave Jersey waters.

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