In an ongoing spat with the UK over fishing rights, France is “open to talks,” but only if London respects its post-Brexit obligations, PM Jean Castex has said, in the wake of French officials detaining a British trawler.
“We are always open for talks – morning, afternoon, and evening,”Castex spoke to journalists on Thursday, during a visit to Brittany’s coast region of Morbihan. Castex stated that “the British should respect their obligations,”The prime minister noted also that all relevant promises had been writtenly confirmed and must be kept.
“We will ensure that our interests are respected and that the word given is respected,”Castex added.
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France has warned the UK that it could impose sanctions upon Britain if there is no agreement on post-Brexit fishing.
Earlier on Thursday, France’s maritime minister, Annick Girardin, said that one British ship had been detained due to the absence of a valid license for operating in French waters. The French authorities issued a second warning to the vessel and they both were fined. Minister Jacques Lemaire linked these incidents to the dispute between France and Britain over fishing licenses in the English Channel.
France asserts that the UK has not fulfilled its obligations under the EU/UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement. British officials claim they have only issued half of the licenses French fishermen had been entitled to. Paris warned London that British goods transported through France by British imports would be subject to increased customs restrictions if the dispute is not settled by November 2.
Priti Patel (UK Home Secretary) called the situation concerning the trawler “unacceptable”. “disappointing,” and insisted the UK “has fulfilled all of our obligations under the TCA.” However, she said, discussions on the matter would continue.
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France holds UK trawler UK in English Channel, as the row over fishing licences heats up
The detained vessel’s owner, Macduff Shellfish, stated that the ship’s activity had been legal, and said the trawler had simply been “caught up”The dispute is only getting worse. According to a statement that was published online and quoted by UK media outlets the Scottish company pledged to defend its rights and called for British assistance in the resolution of the dispute.
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