The United Kingdom and France are again clashing over post-Brexit fishing rights since the island of Jersey rejected 75 license requests from French fishermen. Paris announced retaliatory measures in fifteen days if the situation is not reversed.
In a previous incident over Jersey territorial waters, Paris threatened to cut power cables to the island and government spokesperson Gabriel Attal described the situation as totally unacceptable and inadmissible.
French Maritime Minister Annick Girardin also warned that French fishing should not be taken hostage by the British for political ends.
Jersey island which has a large degree of autonomy said it will continue to have an open door to further data and evidence of fishing activity, including for vessels which have already been considered, and we look forward to working collaboratively to resolve the remaining complex issues.
Jersey's foreign minister, Ian Gorst, said that of 170 applicants, 64 were granted as well as a further 31 temporary licenses to applicants the island says need to show proof of having previously fished in Jersey waters. Island authorities added that recently issued licenses come on top of 47 that were previously granted.
The UK itself says that 12 of 47 applications recently submitted by small boat owners were accepted and that London has granted nearly 1,700 licenses this year for the UK's exclusive economic zone, which extends from 12-200 nautical miles off the coast.
Jean-Pierre Pont, mayor of Boulogne and a member of President Emmanuel Macron's La Republique en Marche party warned, since the British are refusing to honor what they signed, as with other Anglo-Saxons in another area, the French fishermen of Boulogne-sur-Mer may be obliged, after nine months of useless patience, to envisage ways to retaliate against the UK — for example by blocking ports or the entry of lorries towards the UK through the [Channel] tunnel.
Pont finally underlined that our fishermen want to be out at sea fishing under the terms agreed during Brexit.
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Under the terms of the agreement any ‘dispute’ must first be addressed through the dispute resolution procedure and then if necessary, independent arbitration and only if they decide one or other side has breached the treaty can the other side take ‘appropriate’ retaliatory action.Sep 30th, 2021 - 09:40 pm 0
France, the EU cannot unilaterally decide the UK has broken the agreement and retaliate. To do so would be a gross breach of the agreement and collapse it entirely.