France is set to implement a strategy to slow down customs controls on shipments to Britain before Christmas as the dispute over post-Brexit fishing rights continues.
Downing Street braces for yet another standoff with President Emmanuel Macron as talks on licensing French vessels to fish in UK waters continue.
According to The Sun, the country wants to increase import taxes on British products but if it is not able to get the support it needs from the European Union, it could cause lockdowns in Calais and Dover by ordering more physical checks.
French Prime Minister Jean Castex is expected to warn EU and UK negotiators that they have until midnight Friday to resolve the dispute.
France has been irritated by Jersey’s refusal to approve more than 15 permits for French small fishing vessels to operate in British waters – after 47 applications were filed.
France is set to implement a strategy to slow down customs controls on shipments to Britain before Christmas as the dispute over post-Brexit fishing rights continues. Above: Trucks queuing to enter the port of Calais last year
The country also said it applied for 450 fishing licenses for UK waters but only received 275.
If the situation is not resolved, it will further worsen Franco-British relations, which recently took a hit over the Channel migrant crossings and the agreement on the nuclear submarine Aukus signed with Australia and the United States. United States.
On Tuesday, Mr. Castex is expected to unveil a set of theoretical reprisals that could be implemented as early as November 1.
This could include cutting off the UK’s energy supply and blocking the UK fishing fleet from accessing French ports.
Some observers believe Mr Macron is looking to leverage political capital in hopes of being re-elected French president next year.
French boats were free to fish in the 6 to 12 mile zone when the UK was in the EU, but now have to prove they have done so before. France says it should keep the same level of access, accusing Britain of violating the Brexit trade deal.
Downing Street braces for yet another standoff with President Emmanuel Macron as talks on licensing French vessels to fish in UK waters continue
Paris Maritime Minister Annick Girardin is said to have set November 1 as the deadline for settling the dispute during a meeting with Maros Sefcovic, vice-president of the European Commission at the head of post-Brexit trade negotiations, and Virginijus Sinkevicius, Commissioner for Fisheries.
France says it should keep the same level of access it had before Britain left the EU and accuses the UK of violating the Brexit trade deal.
Earlier this month, French fishermen threatened a blockade of the Channel after the EU refused to support Emmanuel Macron’s demand for tough action against the UK.
Other EU member states have poured cold water on Mr Macron’s proposal to get them to sign immediate retaliation, instead agreeing to a watered-down statement calling for more ‘technical’ work.
However, the French fleet is now warning that it is ready to take matters into its own hands.
Fishing rights have been one of the main battlegrounds between Britain and France in their post-Brexit negotiations, and Mr Macron’s impending presidential election means he is under pressure to have the look hard.
Earlier this year, the licensing dispute led France and Britain to send patrol vessels off the coast of Jersey, which is an autonomous dependency of the British Crown.
Britain says majority of vessels were denied entry because they failed to provide evidence that they had fished in the six to 12 mile nautical zone in the years leading up to the UK referendum on leaving the EU.
Jersey Minister of External Relations Ian Gorst said the island government had taken “a pragmatic, reasonable and evidence-based approach” to the issue.
Diplomatic relations between the countries hit a low point recently – with French ministers even threatening to cut off electricity supplies.
Last month Boris Johnson told France to ‘take a grip’ and ‘give me a break’ over the AUKUS nuclear submarine deal that tore up a separate French contract.
The country wants to increase import taxes on British products but if it is unable to get the support it needs from the European Union, it could cause lockdowns in Calais and Dover in ordering more physical checks. Above: A French ship (left) passes a Dutch trawler in the North Sea
Earlier this month, the rowdy Parisian Minister for European Affairs, Clément Beaune, lambasted the ‘failures’ of Brexit in the UK and said French trawlers would not ‘pay the price’ for the UK’s decision. Uni to leave.
Beaune has been dubbed ‘the Grinch’ as he threatened to smother UK Christmas supplies – including electricity.
He emphatically points out that the UK depends on energy exports from across the Channel.
“That’s enough already, we have an agreement negotiated by France, by Michel Barnier, and it should be applied 100%. It is not to be, ”he told Europe 1 radio.
French boats were free to fish in the 6 to 12 mile zone when the UK was in the EU, but now have to prove they have done so before. Above: French fishermen protesting off Jersey earlier this year
“In the coming days, and I spoke to my European counterparts about this yesterday, we will take action at European or national level to put pressure on the United Kingdom. “
He added: “We are defending our interests. We do it nicely and diplomatically, but when it doesn’t work, we take action.
“For example, one can imagine, since we are talking about energy, (…) the UK depends on our energy supplies,” Beaune also said. “He thinks he can live on his own, and hit Europe.