Brexit fishing war is on the brink: Beaune sets brutal deadline as France attacks UK | United Kingdom

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Brexit fishing war is on the brink: Beaune sets brutal deadline as France attacks UK | United Kingdom


Clément Beaune told France Inter radio: “The European Commission has mobilized more: there are negotiations between France, the United Kingdom and the Commission until December 10. If there has not been a massive gesture on licenses, we will stop this dialogue.

Mr Beaune, Emmanuel Macron’s European Affairs Minister has been pushing for weeks for a zero tolerance policy against the UK’s demands in a bitter battle over post-Brexit fisheries agreements.
It is also part of Mr Macron’s efforts to gain more influence over the European Union (EU).

A government spokesperson said Environment Secretary George Eustice had had a constructive discussion with Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius on Wednesday and that technical discussions with the European Commission and French authorities would continue this week.

He added: “Our approach to fishing licensing is evidence-based and fully compliant with the Trade and Cooperation Agreement.

“In total, we have authorized around 1,700 EU vessels to fish in our waters. Where the vessels have provided the required evidence, we have issued licenses and will continue to do so. ”
Speaking on French news channel CNews in October, Mr Beaune warned that the British “only understand the language of force”.

European Commission Vice-President Maros Sefcovic met Mr Beaune earlier this month, who then took to Twitter to describe how the couple discussed the implementation of the UK-EU deal, in particular on the issue of fishing licenses.

He added: “European unity, full respect for our agreements, the implacable defense of our fishermen”.

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France had said it could prevent British ships from disembarking in its ports, setting a deadline for Monday after the start of the COP26 climate summit.

However, France fell after the UK government threatened to retaliate with “tough” controls on EU fishing activities just hours before the deadline.

President Macron has agreed to resume discussions between the two nations and the European Commission. He also ruled out retaliation during the negotiations.

But French fishing boats blocked ports including Saint-Malo and Calais on November 26 after the main French fishermen’s union pledged to deny access to ports as well as Eurotunnel to step up pressure on the UK .

Of the nearly 1,700 licenses issued to EU vessels by the UK government, 117 were issued to proven EU vessels to fish in an area of ​​6 to 12 nautical miles.

A total of 35 smaller vessels have not received clearance, but the government says it remains open to more discussion and evidence.

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