Yukon Weekly

France threatens the UK if it sticks to fishing license stance

France threatens EU legal action if UK sticks to fishing licence stance

Key Takeaway:

  • France would ask the European Union to start legal action against Britain if it fails to issue fishing licenses by a Friday deadline set by the European Commission.
  • Britain and the EU agreed to set up a licensing system to grant fishing vessels access to others waters when Britain left the bloc.

France would ask the European Union to start legal action against Britain if it fails to issue fishing licenses by a Friday deadline set by the European Commission, a French minister stated.

Clement Beaune, the junior European Affairs Minister, accused British PM Boris Johnson of trying unsuccessfully to isolate France in the fight over post-Brexit fishing licenses for French fishers.

Britain and the EU agreed to set up a licensing system to grant fishing vessels access to others waters when Britain left the bloc. Image: Reuters

France is waiting for Britain to approve nearly 100 licenses for its fishermen to operate in UK territorial waters, Beaune told France Info radio.

“If Britain today gives some dozen extra licenses as a part of goodwill… we would take this into account,” he said, adding that if the deadlock persists, France will ask the Commission to announce the start of legal action.

Britain and the EU agreed to set up a licensing system to grant fishing vessels access to others waters when Britain left the bloc. But France says it hasn’t been given the total number due, while Britain says those lacking the correct documentation have not been granted.

Fishing represents a small share of the French and British economies, but it is politically sensitive.

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“Boris Johnson told himself he can isolate the French. We have re-mobilized so that the deal is respected,” Beaune said.

On Thursday, Johnson’s spokesperson told reporters that Britain never set a deadline for resolving the problem; Beaune said it was “not a sign of trust.”

French Seas Minister Girardin stated that France would ask the EU Commission to take the matter for arbitration by a committee of EU and British members that oversee the implementation of the Brexit trade agreement.

If it failed, France would push for the Commission to launch litigation proceedings, a move the minister said would take time.

Source-CTV News

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