France sets two weeks for Britain and Jersey to grant more licenses to fishermen


EU boats have until the end of October to provide data proving their post-Brexit right to fish in the waters of the Channel Island.

Ms. Girardin told European Commissioners that she “was preparing, with colleagues from other ministries, response measures that France could implement from November 1 if necessary,” said a source.

“We are two weeks away from this [Jersey] decision. Nothing is excluded today, neither by France nor by the European Commission, ”she told journalists after the meeting.

Boat-by-boat negotiations between British and European officials are also underway to try to determine whether more French ships could gain access to British coastal waters.

In what has been described as a “frank and passionate” discussion, leading representatives of the French fishing industry called on Brussels to withdraw from the talks and strike Britain, accused of violating the deal. trade on Brexit, with retaliatory measures.

“We are fed up with this bad faith shown by the United Kingdom in the implementation of the agreement, and more particularly in the granting of access to fishing zones from 6 to 12 miles”, Gérard Romiti, President of the French National Fisheries Committee. and aquaculture, the meeting said.

“Now it is time for politicians to initiate retaliatory measures”

Mr Romiti, according to a report from the meeting, added: “It is time to put an end to these pseudo-technical discussions. It is now for the politicians to take back their rights, to raise their voice and to initiate retaliatory measures so that no concessions are made to the English. “

Brussels has so far resisted calls from the French government to use EU powers to exclude the UK or Jersey from bloc energy supplies or hit UK fish with trade tariffs.

EU officials said at the meeting, which took place at the committee’s headquarters in Berlaymont on Friday evening, that they were in favor of continuing negotiations to find a solution to the dispute.

A spokesperson said the “top priority” of the committee was to work “constructively to resolve outstanding issues relating to access to UK territorial waters and to the waters of the Channel Islands”.

The spokesperson added: “Vice-President Sefcovic and Commissioner Sinkevicius reassured the French side of their commitment to ensure that pending requests are dealt with swiftly.”

European, British and French officials have agreed to meet this week for “intensive” discussions on the rejected licenses. The government is helping French fishermen prove they are allowed access to UK coastal waters under the Brexit trade deal, including purchasing third-party GPS data that could prove their status.

A government spokesperson said: “We continue to work with the European Commission and French authorities and remain open to considering any further evidence to support the remaining license applications.”

To create space for negotiations, French fishermen have said they will hold back threats to blockade the Channel.

“Pending a return on the discussions between the European Commission and the United Kingdom, the elected representatives of the Commission for Maritime Fisheries and Aquaculture of the Hauts-de-France Council have also proposed a postponement of possible actions to be taken “, Olivier Lepretre, president of the powerful regional fisheries committee in northern France, said.

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