The Brexit saga has erupted: the EU has given the UK only DAYS to resolve its fishing dispute with France, or else.
The EU has told the UK that it must resolve its ongoing dispute over fishing licenses by December 10.
In recent weeks, the two countries have been in ongoing talks to resolve tensions that have arisen over the UK’s fisheries since it left the EU at the beginning of the year.
The talks were being mediated by the European Commission.
France has complained on several occasions that the UK and Jersey do not grant as many licenses as French fishermen apply for.
Clement Beaune, France’s Europe minister, told the French senate today that the country would keep talking to the UK about fishing licenses for a few days before taking any action.
“If dialogue with the United Kingdom fails, we will defend our interests,” he said.
“Our goal remains the same: to see that the agreement we signed is upheld and that our fishermen are protected.
“We will always support them.”
As talks over the Northern Irish border continue, Maros Sefcovic, the European Commission’s vice president, issued a strong warning to the UK to conclude fishing rights negotiations “on time and in a satisfactory manner.”
His comments come after French ministers demanded that the Commission use its powers to compel a deal.
Last month, French Prime Minister Jean Castex wrote to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, telling her to use “levers at her disposal” to “make clear that compliance with the commitments entered into is non-negotiable and that leaving the Union is more damaging than remaining in it.”
“The United Kingdom’s current uncooperative attitude risks causing great harm not only to fishermen, primarily French, but also to the [European] union, in that it sets a precedent for the future and challenges our credibility and ability to assert our rights with regard to international commitments signed by the union,” the letter continued.
“If no satisfactory solution can be found in this context, the European Union will be forced to apply Article 506 of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement and take corrective measures proportionate to the economic and social harm caused by the breaches.”
He urged Ms. von der Leyen to consider imposing “customs duties on certain fishery products” as a sanction.
The European Commission “has to see this through,” according to Emmanuel Macron.
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