France has threatened to introduce sanctions against Britain by “the end of the week” if a post-Brexit fisheries deal is not honored.
The thorny subject of fishing rights has resurfaced recently as a growing number of EU vessels are denied the right to fish in UK territorial waters.
Since European fishing activity in these waters (worth € 635 million per year) is eight times greater than the UK equivalent in European waters (worth € 110 million per year) euros per year), fishing has been a major bargaining chip for the UK during Brexit trade negotiations.
“We are obviously in a position to take sanctions if the agreement is not respected,” Attal said.
“There are several types of possible sanctions: energy prices and exchanges, access to French ports and customs issues.
The sanctions would target both the UK and the British island of Jersey, which has its own powers over who is allowed to fish in its territorial waters.
In the past, the UK government has said EU vessels must provide proof of fishing activity in UK waters before licenses can be granted.
Collective position of the EU
France has asked the collective of 27 EU countries to act as one in the conflict by preparing its own retaliatory measures.
Earlier this month, 11 EU countries signed a joint statement against Britain on how it handled fishing licenses.
These were Germany, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Cyprus, Greece, Ireland, the Netherlands, Portugal and Sweden and France .
A senior French official declined to say whether French President Emmanuel Macron would discuss the issue with his counterparts at a European summit on Thursday and Friday, AP reported.