A dispute regarding fisheries led to the French authorities repressing a boat from Britain. Paris threatened to sanction the UK next Wednesday if London does not grant French trawlers additional licenses for use in its waters.
Annick Girardin (French maritime minister) said Wednesday that the British fishing vessel was taken to Le Havre after they were caught infractions during scallop season. A verbal warning was also issued to another UK vessel that had failed to follow the rules. Both vessels were penalized.
According to minister, the incident was connected with “tightening of controls in the Channel in the context of the talks on licenses between the United Kingdom and the European Commission.”
France and the UK have been fighting over fishing rights off the UK’s Channel Islands and the French coast.
French fishing boats can continue to catch fish in British waters as long as they have a licence under the 2020 UK EU trade agreement. They must prove that they have fished in the same area before Brexit to be eligible for a license.
Jersey, the Channel Islands’ largest and most self-governing dependent of the British Crown has refused licenses to numerous French vessels. This angered Paris who argued the trade agreement made it unacceptable for Jersey. France threatened Britain with various consequences, including the option to cut power to Jersey.
Jersey officials insist the licensing process is compatible with existing agreements, and the island’s fishermen have complained they have not been allowed to land their catches in France.
France threatened to tighten controls and sanitation on UK goods entering its territory and prohibit UK vessels from landing on French waters if there is no resolution by November 2. They also suggested that sanctions could be added to the second round. “relating to the supply of electricity to the Channel Islands.”
“We will not let Britain wipe its feet on the Brexit agreement,”Gabriel Attal was a spokesperson for the French government on Wednesday.
As a result, the UK government has criticized French sanctions “disappointing and disproportionate,”It stated that it would seek “urgent clarification” of France’s response.
“We will consider what further action is necessary in that light,” UK’s Brexit minister David Frost said.
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