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Not now, Macron: ‘Unlucky’ French are arguing over Brexit fishing rights over permits

Not now, Macron: ‘Unhappy’ Frenchmen are rekindling arguments over Brexit fishing rights by threatening legal action again unless UK grants more licenses for its boats to sail in British waters

  • European Affairs Minister Clement Beaune: Paris ‘not happy with situation’
  • Last month, the French government said 93% of licenses requested had been issued
  • But Mr Beaune, speaking to reporters in Brussels, mentioned the lack of progress since



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France has again threatened to sue the UK unless its fishermen are given more access to rich British waters.

European Affairs Minister Clement Beaune said Paris was “not happy with the situation” after a row over licenses for French ships.

Last month, the French government said 93 percent of licenses applied for had been issued by Britain, compared to 60 percent in early November.

But Mr Beaune, speaking to reporters in Brussels, said the lack of progress since more permissions were granted in December meant legal action remains an option, as France had expressed a similar threat last year.

“Our analysis is very simple: we are not 100 percent satisfied because we also do not think the agreement has been 100 percent implemented,” Mr Beaune told a news conference.

The French minister added in a translation from the European Commission: “We will look with the committee at all the levers at our disposal to see what can be done, because it is clear that we are not happy with the situation.

Not now Macron Unlucky French are arguing over Brexit fishing

European Affairs Minister Clement Beaune said Paris was “not happy with the situation” after a row over licenses for French ships.

Last month, the French government said 93 percent of licenses applied for had been issued by Britain, compared to 60 percent in early November.

Last month, the French government said 93 percent of licenses applied for had been issued by Britain, compared to 60 percent in early November.

Last month, the French government said 93 percent of licenses applied for had been issued by Britain, compared to 60 percent in early November.

French President Emmanuel Macron (pictured addressing the European Parliament in Strasbourg) last week blamed Britain for migrant deaths in the English Channel and demanded a sign of 'good faith' over fishing licenses in a blistering attack when France took over the presidency of the European Union today

French President Emmanuel Macron (pictured addressing the European Parliament in Strasbourg) last week blamed Britain for migrant deaths in the English Channel and demanded a sign of 'good faith' over fishing licenses in a blistering attack when France took over the presidency of the European Union today

French President Emmanuel Macron (pictured addressing the European Parliament in Strasbourg) last week blamed Britain for migrant deaths in the English Channel and demanded a sign of ‘good faith’ over fishing licenses in a blistering attack when France took over the presidency of the European Union today

“We need to continue our dialogue on this particular fisheries-related issue to ensure that we can get those permits that have not yet been granted.

“And as we said in December, if the dialogue proves to be insufficient, legal action may be necessary.”

However, as talks with the UK continue, the minister emphasized that he does not think ‘we are not at the end of the road yet’.

He has previously said France wants 73 more applications for its signed-on trawlers.

The fishing row revolves around licenses to fish in UK and Channel Islands waters under the terms of Britain’s post-Brexit trade agreement with the EU – the Trade and Co-operation Agreement (TCA).

Before Brexit, French fishermen were allowed to fish freely in UK waters, but since the bloc split, they need a special permit from the UK government or the Crown Territories of Jersey and Guernsey to fish in certain areas.

The main source of contention in the current dispute is the number of licenses to fish in waters off the UK coast have been granted to smaller French vessels, which must be able to prove they were operating on those lands before Brexit.

Emmanuel Macron last week blamed Britain for migrant deaths in the English Channel and called on Brussels to be “strict” with fishing licenses as the bitter row with London continued in the European Parliament today.

When France took over the presidency of the EU, Macron took the opportunity to accuse Boris Johnson of endangering lives over his migration policy, with record numbers making the perilous journey across the Channel in dinghies.

The French president said current rules encourage illegal migration and disallow asylum seekers from legal ways to enter the country, forcing migrants to make the treacherous crossing instead.

The feud between France and Britain has raged since the tragic sinking of a dinghy in November that led to the deaths of 27 migrants, with both countries blaming the other.

His comments come as it was revealed today that nearly 1,000 migrants have already arrived in the UK this year, after 168 landed in Dover yesterday.

Addressing Parliament in Strasbourg at the start of the six-month presidency, Macron also said the EU and the UK need to build “confidence” in the post-Brexit era in reference to the ongoing dispute over fishing licenses.

He said: ‘We want to make sure that the agreements reached are respected when it comes to the rights of our fishermen or the Northern Ireland protocol or essential discussions to be had in the future.

‘Let’s be clear, let’s be harsh when we say that the terms of the agreements made must be respected. That’s how you stay friends.’

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