The French government has said it will call on the EU to open legal proceedings against the UK over London’s alleged withholding of fishing licenses. Paris states that there are currently 73 outstanding licenses.
Clement Beaune, Minister for European Affairs, spoke to reporters on Friday. He said that France has obtained 93% the post-Brexit fishery licenses the UK ought to have issued its trawlers.
Annick Girardin (Maritime Minister), spoke with Beaune and said that France is still pushing for an additional 73 licences to fish in British waterways. Paris insists that it will continue to protest until all outstanding licenses have been granted.
“The next step is that we will ask the European Commission in the coming days to convene what is called the Partnership Council, which is provided for by the Brexit agreement when there is a problem,”After a meeting with President Emmanuel Macron, Beaune stated.
Minister said that the Commission would be questioned within days. “initiate litigation, legal proceedings for the licenses to which we are entitled.”Beaune cautioned that the legal process could take quite a while.
The UK granted French fishermen more fishing licenses recently, but it claims many Gallic fisherman have not been able to show that they are entitled to fish British waters.
French ministers previously threatened to cut off power supplies to Jersey (a British Crown Dependency Island) unless they received all the licenses.
The key component of the Brexit deal negotiation was to reduce the presence of EU fishing vessels in British waters. As EU vessels lose their access in Britain’s waters under the Brexit agreement, the UK hopes to expand its fishing industry. Many have also called for a reduction in trawler activity overall to ensure that fishing stocks can recover.