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French Secretary of State for European Affairs Clément Beaune warned on Tuesday that France will take “retaliatory” or even “retaliatory” measures within eight days if the United Kingdom does not grant more licenses to French fishermen.
France issues an ultimatum to the United Kingdom. Paris will take “retaliatory” measures within eight days if London does not grant more licenses to French fishermen, French Secretary of State for European Affairs Clément Beaune said Wednesday evening October 13.
“In about a week, we will announce measures of response, retaliation, retaliation if necessary, national or European, if we do not have concrete British signals on the issue of licenses,” Clément insisted. Beaune in the Senate.
France is threatening in particular to reduce its electricity deliveries to Jersey and to take measures in the financial services or research sector.
“We have been very patient, too patient (..) The British do not want to give a certain number of licenses not because they lack information but because they made this political choice”, insisted the secretary of state.
“A European problem”
The post-Brexit agreement, reached in extremis at the end of last year between London and Brussels, provides that European fishermen can continue to work in certain British waters on condition that they obtain a license, granted if they can prove that they fished there before. But the French and the British argue over the nature and extent of the supporting documents to be provided.
In the still disputed fishing zones (6-12 miles from the British coasts and the Channel Islands), London and Jersey have thus granted a total of just over 200 definitive licenses, while Paris is still claiming 244.
“It’s not a French problem (…) It’s a European problem,” Clément Beaune insisted, recalling that Belgium and Ireland were also concerned. “We are mobilizing our European partners.”
Eleven countries, including France, which called for a European front against London after the British decisions on fishing licenses, signed a joint declaration on Monday criticizing the United Kingdom’s responses to this issue. Besides France, Germany, Belgium, Cyprus, Spain, Greece, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal and Sweden have signed this declaration.