France accused the UK of delaying in providing fisheries licenses for UK waters. Under the trade deal struck last year, European fisheries can still access UK waters but must apply for licenses to do so and will have to comply with strict quotas that will decline each year.
British ships will have access to an additional Â£ 145million of fish by 2026.
French fishermen have reacted angrily over the past week saying the UK government has extended the granting of access to the waters, which is impacting their livelihoods.
Emmanuel Macron’s administration has asked the government to speed up the process of authorizing fishing within the 12-mile limit.
Threatening Britain, he said he would take retaliatory action if his demands were not met.
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Responding this afternoon, the Prime Minister’s official spokesperson said: âThe trade and cooperation agreement sets out very clearly what the rules are in this regard and we expect them to be consistently followed. appropriate.
“We are following the rules and will continue to do so.”
France says some 80 percent of the French fleet in the northern Hauts-de-France region is still awaiting licenses.
It indicates that only 22 of the 120 vessels have received the necessary authorization to fish in UK waters.
The country’s European affairs minister, ClÃ©ment Beaune, said yesterday that “retaliatory measures” would be taken by the EU, including in financial services if licenses were not speeded up.
He threatened that the EU would be “as brutal and difficult as necessary” until his demands are met.
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The EU has yet to grant UK equivalence, which is vital in removing barriers to businesses offering financial services on the continent.
Equivalence would see the EU say that UK financial regulation is close enough to its own for companies to operate across borders.
The UK has already approved block equivalency in a number of areas, but the EU has yet to follow suit.
He says he needs more information from Britain on potential differences before granting status.
Last week, French fishermen staged a protest, blocking roads for trucks carrying British catch.
No less than 80 fishermen set off flares on the Boulogne docks and created barricades to block trucks seeking to transport fish to the region’s seafood processing center.
The UK has denied delaying the licensing process and has criticized the protests.
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said last week: âWe do not recognize the figures that have been shared by the French fishing industry and consider this reaction to be unwarranted. .
“Our concerns about the protest action were raised directly with the French authorities.”