Britain has granted another 23 licenses to French fishermen, a government spokesperson said Saturday. The news comes after a deadline set by Paris to resolve their post-Brexit battle over fishing rights and it is speculation as of yet how this will affect the relationship between England’s two countries.
France has threatened legal action against London if a breakthrough isn’t reached by December 10th. The EU had set the UK an order deadline for granting fishing licenses to dozens of French boats,
In a move that will allow the vessels to continue working in British waters, licenses were agreed Friday night after officials meeting with European Union counterparts. A spokesman for London’s Maritime and Coastguard Agency says they took an “evidence-based approach”.
The UK’s approach provides stability and ensures the sustainability of our fisheries, with 18 licenses granted by Great Britain. Jersey gets five too.
The European Union has hailed the agreement as “a step in a long process” towards implementing Brexit and said work continues into Monday for seven more licenses.
France said it will take action against four boats that have not obtained licenses to operate in British and Channel Island waters. The announcement came after Britain’s decision last year on leaving the European Union (EU).
According to the agreement, EU fishermen may continue to fish in British waters if they prove they previously fished there.
The European Commission has been threatened by Paris regarding this dispute.
EU sanctions, or even tariffs, could have been imposed on British goods if it were found that Britain was breaching its commitments.
Since late November, when the EU tried intensifying discussions over outstanding applications, 83 vessels have been granted licenses.
In protest against the post-Brexit arrangements and the loss of trade, French fishermen disrupted cross-Channel ferry traffic and cargo last month.
The port of Calais in the north and the port of Ouistreham in Normandy to the west were shut down by half a dozen fishing vessels.
France protested by massing trawlers in front of Jersey’s main port and caused a standoff with the Royal Navy.
France’s ports provide a significant portion of fresh food imports to the UK, so any extended blockade could significantly affect food imports.
A separate dispute is ongoing between the EU and the UK over checks on goods entering Northern Ireland after the UK government unilaterally postponed their implementation.
As a result of the dispute, bilateral relations between Britain and France have deteriorated. The two nations have had disagreements this year over migrant crossings across the English Channel, post-Brexit trade arrangements, and submarine sales to Australia.