France could delay UK financial firms in EU over fishing rights – fr

France could delay UK financial firms in EU over fishing rights – fr

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France aims to delay access to the European single market for British financial firms until it considers that the British government is meeting its post-Brexit commitments on fishing rights, according to people familiar with the matter.

French officials are seeking to block a funding regulatory cooperation deal as part of a larger effort to pressure the UK, people said, asking not to be named in private conversations.

The non-binding MoU would be a first step towards future cooperation and pave the way for granting market access to UK businesses later. France’s reluctance to let even this take effect shows how politically British hopes for access to the European Union’s financial markets are.

The French are determined to meet Britain’s commitments in the post-Brexit trade deal amid unrest in northern fishing ports over delays in obtaining licenses to continue fishing in the British waters.

Before the MoU can be implemented, the 27 EU members must approve and this formal process has not yet started. The process could begin in the next few days, the people said.

Tensions between the UK and France reached a new level last week when ships from both navies were sent to the British island of Jersey, a few miles off the French coast, where dozens of French boats had organized a demonstration. While angry fishermen are back in port for now and negotiations between France and Jersey are about to restart, France complains that many French crews are still waiting for licenses to resume work in British waters.


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