Pas-de-Calais MP Jean-Pierre Pont, said to the radio station Delta FM: “France must immediately stop controlling migrants on their way to the United Kingdom. Let the British deal with it.
“At least their navy ships will do something [in that case], rather than threatening our fishermen.
Mr Pont said Britain should have ‘pressure’ on it over Brexit, and that stopping all cooperation regarding migrants trying to pass through France on their way to the UK would send a clear message of retaliation to the UK government. .
The UK has confirmed that at least four – if not eight – Royal Navy vessels are on standby and ready to patrol UK fishing waters from January 1 in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
Vessels would have the power to stop, inspect and even seize any EU fishing vessel operating in the UK’s EEZ, which can reach up to 200 miles from shore.
Under a no-deal, EU vessels would not be allowed to fish in the UK’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), and UK vessels would not be allowed to fish in Member States’ waters of the EU.
While the Royal Navy ships will be armed, there are no plans to fire at EU ships. Instead, Royal Navy ships will be allowed to sail alongside any ship deemed to be in violation of the rules, and possibly board the ship to inspect it if necessary.
In extreme circumstances, a ship could even be seized and taken to the nearest UK port.
Fishing patrol vessels are already common in UK waters, but a no-deal Brexit would see the Royal Navy ramp up its operations and tasks.
More a navy source told the newspaper The Guardian: “No one will fire warning shots against French fishermen; firearms are only used in cases of danger of death. ”
Fisheries has been a major point of contention in the Brexit negotiations between the UK and the EU, and the EU has even suggested that a one-year extension be allowed for more negotiations, with the aim to find a final agreement on the subject.
The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said last week: “We understand that the UK aspires to control its waters. The UK, on the other hand, needs to understand the legitimate expectations of EU fishing fleets based on decades and sometimes centuries of access. ”
France reacted nonchalantly to news of Royal Navy ships last weekend, with an Elysee official telling Reuters reporter Michel Rose: “Keep calm and carry on”, in an ironic reference to the widely used slogan of the British war.
Ironic reaction from the Elysee on plans to deploy Royal Navy vessels to protect British fishing waters: “Stay calm and carry on”, an Elysee official told me https://t.co/u3pYsijdgM
– Michel Rose (@MichelReuters) December 12, 2020
Boris Johnson should resign if there is no deal – UK MP
Brexit: UK storage causes delays at Calais border