France could announce energy and trade sanctions in the context of a dispute over fishing with the United Kingdom

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France could announce energy and trade sanctions in the context of a dispute over fishing with the United Kingdom


France will announce potential sanctions on energy prices and trade “by the end of the week” in its fisheries dispute with the UK, the government spokesman said on Wednesday. France has vehemently protested against the decision taken last month by the UK and the Channel Island of Jersey to deny dozens of French fishing vessels a license to operate in their territorial waters. Paris described this decision as “unacceptable”.

France considers the restrictions to be contrary to the post-Brexit agreement that the British government signed when it left the European Union.

“We are obviously in a position to take sanctions if the agreement is not respected,” French government spokesman Gabriel Attal said. “Several types of sanctions are possible: energy prices, access to (French) ports, tariff problems.

Jersey, which is only 14 miles (22 kilometers) off the coast of France, is a British Crown dependency outside of the United Kingdom. As such, it has its own powers with respect to the persons authorized to fish in its territorial waters.

Attal said the sanctions would take effect in November if no deal was reached with the UK and Jersey.

France called on its European Union partners to act together in the dispute, urging the bloc of 27 countries to prepare retaliatory measures.

A senior French official declined on Wednesday to say whether French President Emmanuel Macron would discuss the issue with his counterparts at a European summit in Brussels on Thursday and Friday. He spoke anonymously in accordance with the practices of the French presidency.

Earlier this month, France and 10 other EU countries issued a joint statement denouncing the UK’s stance on fishing licenses.

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