PARIS, October 23 (Reuters) – France is disappointed with the pace of negotiations with Britain over a settlement of a post-Brexit fishing rights dispute, but talks are expected to continue on Monday, the head of a French fishing association.
His remarks seemed to suggest that French fishermen were withdrawing from threats to protest over the weekend against Britain’s refusal to grant more fishing licenses to their vessels.
Olivier Lepretre, chairman of the Regional Maritime Fisheries Committee for Northern France, said this week’s discussions had only resulted in the issuance of a handful of fishing licenses for French fishing vessels in the waters. British territorial authorities.
He felt it was too timid a step to resolve the dispute with Britain, but said the European Commission, the EU executive, would continue talks with Britain.
“Technical work will continue over the next few days, and at a steady pace,” said Lepretre.
French officials accuse Britain of refusing to honor its post-Brexit trade deal with the EU, and the National Committee of Maritime Fishermen (CNPMEM) said Marine Minister Annick Girardin assured French fishermen that ‘she would not give up the fight to obtain licenses for them. .
“(The Minister) is disappointed with the technical work done this week, but we cannot deny that progress has been made,” said Lepretre. “I can see the government is not giving up an inch. “
The dispute involves the issuance of fishing licenses in British territorial waters six to 12 nautical miles from its coasts, as well as in the seas off Jersey, a Crown dependency in the English Channel. Read more
Paris is irritated by London’s refusal to grant what it considers to be all of the licenses owed to French fishing vessels.
Britain said last month it was open to further discussions with the boats it had rejected, adding that they had not submitted evidence of their operating history in the waters, which was necessary to continue fishing in the 6 to 12 nautical mile zone.
Reporting by Richard Lough, editing by Michel Rose and Timothy Heritage
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