France has threatened to disrupt trade with Britain and tighten customs controls if French fishermen are no longer licensed to operate in British waters.
The most recent dispute in the bitter dispute between the neighbors was triggered by approval procedures for EU fishing boats that wanted to operate in the waters around Great Britain and the Channel Islands after Brexit.
The new measures would include “systematic customs and hygiene controls of products brought into France and a ban on the landing of seafood,” government spokesman Gabriel Attal told reporters.
France has also threatened to cut the electricity on accusing Britain of “wiping its shoes” on the Brexit deal.
The EU nation is outraged by Britain’s rejection of dozens of French boats and the self-governing Channel Islands of Jersey and Guernsey, which are dependent on London for defense and foreign policy.
French customs controls have the potential to slow down imports and exports significantly.
France has threatened to disrupt trade with Britain and tighten customs controls unless French fishermen are given more licenses to operate in British waters (pictured: French fishermen in Boulogne-sur-Mer
British fishermen also rely heavily on French ports where much of their catch is landed and processed.
Attal claimed that under the fisheries agreement signed between the UK and the European Union in December last year, France is “missing almost 50 percent of the licenses to which we are entitled”.
France “will not allow Britain to wipe their shoes on the Brexit deal,” he added.
The fishing flare-up is the latest in a series of disagreements between the two neighbors that have brought diplomatic relations to the lowest levels in decades.
In addition to tensions over migration, Paris was outraged in September after Britain secretly negotiated an agreement to supply Australia with nuclear submarines – at the expense of the French agreed in 2016.
French European Minister Clement Beaune said the measures could be tightened over time.
The new measures would include “systematic customs and hygiene controls of products brought to France and a ban on the landing of seafood,” government spokesman Gabriel Attal (pictured) told reporters
“It’s a first set of measures. Either this first set of measures leads to a dialogue about the licenses, then that’s good, ”he said at a hearing in the Senate.
“Or these measures will not implement the agreement and we will take other measures, such as electricity,” he added, echoing previous French threats to cut Jersey’s electricity supply.
Under the post-Brexit fisheries agreement, EU fishermen wishing to access UK seas had to apply for new licenses, which were issued if they could demonstrate that they had worked in UK waters in previous years.
The UK has issued almost 1,700 licenses to EU boats to fish in waters classified as part of its Exclusive Economic Zone, i.e. the 12-200 nautical miles offshore.
The tensions concern licenses to operate in the UK’s fishing waters, which are 6-12 nautical miles from the coast, as well as in the waters near Jersey.
London has given French boats 100 licenses for its territorial waters, 75 were rejected according to information from the beginning of October.
For Jersey, 111 permanent licenses and 31 temporary licenses have been issued while 75 boats have been rejected.
MailOnline has asked HMRC for a comment.
Thierry Breton has branded Brexit as a “disaster” for Great Britain, blaming it for the empty supermarket shelves, the petrol crisis and the shortage of truck drivers
It comes after Thierry Breton, the French politician who is also the European Commission’s Internal Market Commissioner, said Brexit was “a real drama” for Britain.
“Look at what is going on on the supermarket shelves, see what is happening at the pumps, see what happens to the shortage of nurses and doctors, see what happens to the shortage of trucks. Happened to drivers, see what’s going on, “is happening in the construction sector,” Breton told BFM TV.
“What is happening now is a real drama.”
Breton has often criticized the UK’s decision to leave the EU – but last month’s Brexit warning was supposed to “boost the UK’s global standing” but said it did “pretty much the opposite”.
The EU’s internal market commissioner has also plunged into Brexit disputes over fishing rights and vaccine production, beating Britain up for its role in a submarine deal with Australia.
People wait in line to refuel at Asda in Greenwich, south east London while Britain experiences a fuel crisis
UK supermarket shelves remain empty due to ongoing shortages due to a fuel crisis and a lack of truck drivers
“Remember that after you said they could get back to prosperity, which to some extent meant that every EU citizen would be kicked out – at least a large part of them – now they have to come back because of a lack of nurses.
“There are 100,000 truck drivers missing … it is what it is and we regret it,” he added.
Breton also said the UK had been “bad faith” in handling fishing rights but said the EU was “now used to this game”.
“200 permits have been issued so we’re moving forward,” he added.
France and ten other EU members have called for a united front against Britain over the dispute with Paris over post-Brexit fishing licenses in its waters. Pictured: French fishermen empty a fishing net in the North Sea
In another Breton foray into the Brexit ranks in April, theThe EU’s Internal Market Commissioner said “zero” continent-made AstraZeneca shocks will be shipped across the English Channel until the company fulfills its commitments to Europe.
He said there was nothing to negotiate between the EU and the UK.
It came after boasting about preventing AstraZeneca doses from leaving Europe, claiming the continent has “many vaccines” available and saying the EU will be able to offer one to every adult before the end of summer.
Mr Breton told the FT at the time that EU-made cans must be reserved for the block to make up for the shortage, adding, “If [AstraZeneca] does more, we have no problem, but as long as it doesn’t keep its commitment to us, the cans will stay in Europe – with the exception of Covax. ‘
UK government sources at the time described his remarks as “disappointing” and accused him of “disregarding legitimate contracts”.
They claimed the only way to overcome the pandemic was to find a “win-win” situation.
Breton’s comments forced former EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier to try to calm tensions between the channels by calling on his colleagues to end the vaccine war.
In another Breton foray into the Brexit ranks in April, the EU’s Internal Market Commissioner said “zero” continent-made AstraZeneca shocks would be shipped across the English Channel until the company met its commitments to Europe
In September Breton also warned that transatlantic ties were “broken” after Australia scrapped a $ 40 billion submarine deal with France and negotiated a new deal with the UK and the US.
Breton said many politicians and citizens in Europe shared a “growing feeling … that something is broken in our transatlantic relationship” after a series of surprises from the Biden administration in recent months.
“Unfortunately, this feeling is growing,” he told reporters in Washington at the time. “It’s not right to believe that it’s just what happened last week. It’s a lot wider than that. ‘