The French Minister of State for European Affairs announced on Wednesday (13.10.2021) that France will take “counter-measures”, even “retaliatory”, within eight days if the United Kingdom does not grant more licenses to French fishermen.
“In about eight days we will announce a response, reprisal or retaliation, if any, national or European, if we do not receive concrete indications from the UK on the issue of licensing,” Clement Bohn told the Senate on Wednesday.
The French government threatens to cut off electricity supplies to the island of Jersey, just 30 kilometers from the French coast, and to crack down on Britain’s financial services or research sectors.
“We have been very patient and very patient (…) the British do not want licenses given not because they lack information, but because they have made a political decision,” he insisted.
The post-Brexit relationship agreement between London and Brussels was closed at the end of 2020 on the condition that European fishermen continue to fish in British waters in exchange for a license, which will be granted if they prove they have previously fished there.
Although the British authorities allowed just over 200 French fishermen, Paris is critical of the supporting documents requested by London and is demanding more licenses.
France insists it is a “European problem” and calls for a common European front on the issue.
Eleven countries including France, Germany, Spain and Italy on Monday signed a declaration against the British government’s position on the issue. (afp)