Fisherman says post-Brexit fishing deal is ‘bias’
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The MailOnline reports the fleets on the other side of the Channel will start their blockade in a fortnight unless Britain buckles to their demands. Olivier Lepretre, chairman of the northern France fisheries committee, said: “The British have got two weeks to react and then we will go on the attack.”
The warning has come just over a week after the UK Government rejected dozens of applications from French fishermen to venture into British waters.
In the most recent set of bids, just 12 out of 47 applications were authorised.
Jersey added further salt to French wounds by refusing licences for 75 of their boats.
Annick Girardin, France’s Maritime Minister, responded to the Channel Island by raising the possibility that France could cut off electricity supplies to both Jersey and the neighbouring island of Guernsey.
Officials in Paris have fired back against the UK Government and said they have reneged on the UK’s post-Brexit fishing agreement with the European Union.
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French Prime Minister Jean Castex said: “Britain does not respect its own signature.”
He added: “Month after month, the UK present new conditions and delays giving definitive licences… this cannot be tolerated.”
Christophe Lomel, a Boulogne-based skipper, similarly claimed: “It’s illogical – licences have been given to boats which hardly ever go to British waters.
“I’ve been going there for 35 years and have not been given a licence.”
The Brexit-backing Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab snapped back against claims from France.
“What the French need to adjust to is the new reality we have left the EU,” the Justice Secretary said.
Brussels agreed to significantly reduce continental access to British waters after the UK opted to sever ties with the European Union.
Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal ensured the number of EU boats fishing in UK waters would fall by 25 percent by 2026.
After 2026, London and Brussels will conduct annual negotiations to decide what level of access European fisherman will have to Britain’s independent coastal waters.
It has been estimated the deal will boost Britain’s fishing industry by an extra £145million per year once the fishing quota transfer is complete.
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But the fishing feud is a part of a wider deterioration of Anglo-French relations.
Paris was left frustrated by Australia’s decision to snub a multi-million-pound submarine deal with a French company to enter an Anglosphere defence pact with the UK and USA.
It has also been reported Emmanuel Macron worked with senior officials in Brussels to divert almost 5million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine bound for Britain to France.
However, according to the MailOnline, an EU diplomat has said Monsieur Macron could be “overplaying” his hand in an attempt to bolster support before next year’s election.
“It looks good for President Macron right now to be tough on the British,” claimed the source.
The incumbent French President currently leads in the opinion polls but could face a challenge on the right from ex-EU negotiator Michel Barnier and leader of the National Rally Marine Le Pen.
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