Emmanuel Macron’s Brexit battle explodes as France prepares to ban British seafood | United Kingdom | New
In addition to the punishment, Mr Macron also said an increase in customs checks would occur on trucks coming from the UK, further fueling the bitter dispute between London and Paris. Without forgetting the promise to reconsider other forms of sanctions, Gabriel Attal echoed the warnings of the French Minister for Europe, Clément Beanue, the supply of electricity to the Channel Islands could also be targeted.
Although the original plans of French government officials were to shut off supply entirely, a price hike is now seen as the most likely approach.
France argues that under the Brexit deal 175 French fishing vessels were promised the right to fish in UK mainland waters with an approved license. However, only a hundred have been issued.
Licenses were issued to fleets which could prove that they were fishing regularly in the area before the Brexit agreement, it was up to the French to prove that this was the case by individual license.
Focusing on the Channel Islands, and Jersey in particular, France says it was waiting for 216 licenses to fish there, but only received 105.
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Speaking about the situation, Mr Attal said: “Things are clear and we have said we will not let the British wipe their feet on the Brexit deal.”
“Concretely, the French government has established a list of licenses to which we are entitled. We have worked with the British and we have given them all the data, all the documents, all the information that they are asking for in support of these applications.
Mr Attal also said: “What we are seeing today is that 50% of the licenses to which we are entitled are missing … This is a situation which is not acceptable and I am clearly saying that our patience is exhausted. “
The measures are to begin Tuesday with “systematic customs and sanitary inspections of imported products arriving in Channel ports, the ban on also unloading seafood and the control of trucks”.
The current value of the French seafood market to UK fishermen is around £ 561.1 million per year and represents 27.7 percent of total exports.
Seeing a ban on fish caught by the British would have a very negative impact on the livelihoods of British fishermen, and could be used as leverage in the negotiations between Paris and London.
“Our wish is that the agreement that was signed be respected. Our patience is running out and there is a clear desire in Britain not to honor the deal. “
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France has asked for support from other European countries in the battle for licenses, however, the European Commission has called for a diplomatic solution to the problem.
French fishermen have so far claimed that negotiations were too timid between Paris and London and could take matters into their own hands.
Olivier Leretre, president of the Regional Fisheries Committee in Hauts-de-France, indicates that its members plan to block products exported to the United Kingdom from France at the ferry port of Calais.
Such a move could prevent thousands of trucks from crossing the Channel, meaning fresh produce, produce, meat and dairy could perish.
For Emmanuel Macron, the fishing wars, as they have been dubbed by some, could be a decisive decision as the end of his first term before the elections approaches.
With a first term full of pitfalls, from the movement of yellow vests to the mismanagement of the Covid-19 epidemic, Mr. Macron is under pressure to deliver to the electorate.
With many French fishermen living in the north of the country, far-right candidates, who have traditionally performed well in the north, will target the region in an attempt to displace the outgoing president after just one term.