What’s really going on in the fishing dispute, as France threatens retaliation
FRANCE has threatened to retaliate if a fishing agreement isn’t reached in the coming days.
But how did the fishing row get started in the first place?
The ongoing fishing dispute between the UK and France appears to have no end in sight.
Both parties are in discussions about how to implement fishing rules after Brexit, including who can fish where and how many licenses have been issued.
But where did the squabble begin, and, more importantly, when will it end?
French officials ordered a scallop vessel owned by Macduff Shellfish, Cornelius, into the port of Le Havre earlier this autumn, along with another boat, which they claim was not allowed to fish in French territorial waters.
After one failed to comply with police checks and the other did not have a valid license, the two boats were fined.
The vessel was “legally fishing for scallops in French waters,” according to Macduff, who also claimed it was being used as “another pawn in the ongoing dispute between the UK and France.”
One vessel allegedly lacked a license, while the other allegedly refused to allow a check.
The UK government insisted the detained boat had a fishing license, but speculated that it had been revoked from a list of licensed vessels.
Authorities released the boats, and they returned to the United Kingdom.
The incident reignited the two countries’ long-running feud over post-Brexit fishing licenses.
Since then, the UK and France have been in talks to resolve the issues.
“We have licensed nearly 1,700 EU vessels overall,” a government spokesperson said. “Our approach to licensing has been reasonable and fully in line with our commitments in the Trade and Cooperation Agreement.”
“We’ll continue to work with the Commission and the French authorities, and we’ll take into account any new evidence submitted to support the remaining license applications.”
Clement Beaune, France’s Europe minister, told the French senate that the country would keep talking to the UK about fishing licenses for the next few days before taking action.
“If dialogue with the United Kingdom fails to yield results, we will defend our interests,” he said.
“Our goal remains the same: to ensure that the agreement we signed is upheld, and to protect our fishermen.”
“We will always support them.”
According to France’s government, the United Kingdom has only issued a small percentage of the licenses it claims.
“News from the Brinkwire.”