Post-Brexit fisheries: France will ask the European Commission to initiate a dispute against the United Kingdom

Paris raises the tone. After weeks of tension, France announced on Friday that it would ask the European Commission to initiate post-Brexit litigation against the United Kingdom to obtain a number of fishing licenses .

“We will ask the European Commission in the coming days to initiate legal proceedings to the licenses to which we are entitled, which are the highest priority, the most important ”, declared the Secretary of State for European Affairs Clément Beaune after a meeting between French fishermen, elected officials from the regions concerned and the president Emmanuel Macron at the Élysée

A first since Brexit

“We will ask the European Commission in the next few days to convene the Partnership Council, which is provided for by the agreement of Brexit when there is a problem – it’s a political body, we don’t have it never met for the moment -, to tell the British that it is a European problem, which they do not respect at 73% the agreement and therefore that we must have this political pressure which continues “, explained Clément Beaune.

Minister of the Sea Annick Girardin specified that “73 licenses still pending ”, promising that France would continue to discuss with London and the authorities of the Channel Islands “To try to extract” the authorizations “license by license”. Noting that some fishermen will not have permission to work in UK waters, ministers reaffirmed that no one would be left by the wayside, now raising the issue of compensation.

Appointment of a “guide”

“The president only wishes in terms of support for fishermen (who will not have no licenses), we are precise on individual assistance, and that we do hand-sewn, case by case, basin by basin ”, declared Annick Girardin, indicating that a“ Mr. the coming week. ”

By virtue of the agreement signed at the end of 650 between London and Brussels, European fishermen can continue to work in British waters provided they can prove that they were fishing there before. But for more than eleven months, the French and the British have been arguing over the nature and extent of the supporting documents to be provided.

Outside the Mediterranean, around a quarter of French catches in terms of volume (approximately 20% in value) come from British waters, which are full of fish and which are originally of 650 million euros in annual sales for EU fishermen.

Post-Brexit fishing: Representatives of the profession received Friday by Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee

Post-Brexit fishing: London announces 23 additional licenses for the French