Fishing rights row explained: France issue warning but what happens next?

Asia's Tech News Daily

After the UK and Jersey’s decision last month to reject dozens of licences for French boats to fish their waters, France has now issued an ultimatum.

The country has warned that it will block British boats from some ports next week.

France has also said it will tighten checks on UK boats and trucks if the post-Brexit dispute over fishing licences was not resolved by 2 November.

In response, the UK has said that the threats made by France is a breach of international law and trade agreements made during Brexit.

Downing Street called it “disappointing and disproportionate” and “not what we would expect from a close ally and partner”.

What is the warning issued by France?

Fishing rights row explained: France issue warning but what happens next?
© Getty Images Fishing boats in the territorial waters of Jersey show a banner that reads ‘Jersey government kill us’

On Wednesday, France said it would start imposing “targeted measures” from Tuesday of next week. The ultimatum included the following :

  • Preventing British fishing boats from disembarking at ports

  • Increasing border and sanitary checks on UK goods

  • Tightening security checks on British boats

  • Increasing checks on trucks going to and from the UK

It has also said that it was preparing further sanctions which includes cutting electricity supplies to Jersey.

What happened to the two boats detained by France?

French maritime minister Annick Girardin said on Wednesday that two English ships had been fined during checks off Le Havre.

According to her, the first ship did not comply “spontaneously” and the second, which did not have a licence to fish in French waters was “handed over to the judicial authority”.

What has UK’s response been to France’s warning?

Brexit Minister Lord Frost said called France’s stance on the matter “disappointing,” adding that the government was seeking “urgent clarification” of France’s plans and would “consider what further action is necessary in that light.”

The UK government has maintained that the rejected applications did not have enough evidence to show a history of fishing in Britain’s or Jersey’s waters, arguing that it has granted 98% of licence applications from European boats.

A spokeswoman added that the UK will raise their concerns over the sanction with the EU and French government.

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