France has accused Britain of breaching the UK-EU treaty on post-Brexit ties, as most applications by French fishermen to fish in British waters were rejected.
The French government reacted angrily on Tuesday, when it emerged that out of 47 French applications for the operation of small fishing boats in Britain’s territorial seas, only 12 fishing licenses had been granted.
French Maritime Minister Annick Girardin was quoted by Le Monde as saying: “This is a new refusal of the British to implement the terms of the Brexit agreement, despite all the actions taken together.”
“I have only one watchword; To obtain certain licenses for our fishermen, as stated in the agreement,” she said. “French fishing should not be held hostage by the British for political purposes.”
French minister for Europe Clement Beaune said his government “will not hesitate to retaliate collectively.”
The Daily Telegraph quoted him as saying, “We understand and share the anger of our fishermen.”
The UK’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said its approach to the post-Brexit trade deal was “appropriate and fully in line with our commitments”.
The controversy deepened on Wednesday, when the Jersey government said 75 of the 170 French boats that had applied for licences had been rejected.
In response, French government spokesman Gabriel Attal said: “These decisions are completely unacceptable and unacceptable.”
He said the ruling was contrary to the post-Brexit trade deal Britain had signed with the EU and that France would seek support from Brussels for possible “retaliatory measures”.
Jersey Foreign Minister Ian Gorst said he had taken a “practical, appropriate and evidence-based approach” to the issue.
The Government of Jersey said that 64 French yachts had their applications approved, while a further 31 were granted temporary licenses to give them more time to prove that they had access to UK trade with the EU. Jersey has a track record of fishing in line with the agreement.
Boats that were not licensed were being given 30 days’ notice, after which they would not be allowed into the island’s waters.
The dispute over fishing rights has been going on for several months.
In May, French minister Girardin said she was “disgusted” to learn that Jersey had issued 41 licenses with unilateral conditions, and threatened to cut off electricity supplies to Jersey, which supplies its electricity to France. imports 95 percent of the
French fishing boats gathered near Jersey to protest the sanctions, and the UK government sent two Royal Navy ships to the island in response.
PA contributed to this report.
This News Originally From – The Epoch Times