Post-Brexit fishing licenses: London asks Paris to withdraw threats

The conflict over post-Brexit fishing licenses continues to poison relations between Paris and London. Monday 1is November, the British Foreign Minister, Liz Truss, called on the French government to withdraw its threats of sanctions which must come into effect on Tuesday, unless the negotiations progress significantly. Paris plans to ban British fishing vessels from landing their cargo in French ports. Strengthening customs controls on trucks is also on the agenda.

“The French have made completely unreasonable threats”, Liz Truss told SkyNews. Lack of solution “Within forty-eight hours”, the foreign minister clarified that the British government would rely on the dispute settlement mechanism under the post-Brexit trade agreement to ask for “Compensatory measures”.

Jersey caught up in argument

Under the Brexit agreement, European fishermen can continue to work in certain British waters provided they can prove that they were already fishing there between 2017 and 2020. However, nearly a hundred of them did not been able to provide sufficient evidence of this history, explains London. Seventy-five fishermen from Boulogne have been refused their licenses, and 55 more are expected to lose their provisional licenses at the end of October if the Jersey administration does not renew it.

“We have been in discussions with the European Commission for weeks on this licensing issue and we have responded favorably to 98% of license requests. [faites par les Européens]. We have acted in good faith and have fully complied with the ATT agreements. [traité commercial post-Brexit] », said David Frost, Minister for Europe under Boris Johnson, on Twitter Saturday.

Paris and London consider themselves to be within their rights; French President Emmanuel Macron said on Sunday that the “Ball was in the British court”.

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Caught up in the dispute between the two countries, Ian Gorst, Minister of Foreign Affairs for the Channel Island of Jersey, called on Sky News to “Stop all this nonsense and take care of the technical problems” allowing the issuance of fishing licenses.

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The Northern Irish problem

Another topic of post-Brexit tension remains, which concerns Northern Ireland. London demands the renegotiation of customs measures specific to the British province, but negotiations, which resume this week in Brussels, remain at an impasse.

In everyday life The Telegraph, the Vice-President of the European Commission, Maros Sefcovic said “Increasingly worried that the British government is going down the road of confrontation”.

Intended both to protect the European market and to prevent the reestablishment of a physical border on the island of Ireland, which would risk undermining the peace, the Northern Irish Protocol effectively keeps Northern Ireland in the customs union and the European single market.

But it is denounced by London and the Northern Irish Unionists, attached to the maintenance of Northern Ireland within the United Kingdom. They accuse him of disrupting trade between the province and Great Britain, separated by the sea. British Secretary of State in charge of Brexit, David Frost, said that the European Union had shown itself “Without regard to the enormous political, economic and identity sensitivities” in Northern Ireland.

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The World with AFP

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Post-Brexit fishing licenses: London asks Paris to withdraw threats