France will ask the EC to open proceedings against London if it does not respond to its ultimatum on fishing


Paris stresses that if the UK shows “good will” and approves “a few dozen” licenses


The Government of France has announced this Friday that it will ask the European Commission to open procedures against the United Kingdom regarding the bilateral fishing dispute if London does not respect the deadline of this Friday to unblock the blockade around the delivery of licenses to fishermen French.

The Secretary of State for European Affairs of France, Clément Beaune, has indicated that “there are a few hundred licenses” affected and added that if the United Kingdom “agrees to give a few dozen additional licenses as a gesture of goodwill to show that dialogue bears fruit, it will be taken into account. “

However, he has underlined in statements made to the France Info station that “if they enlist in their positions”, Paris “will ask the European Commission to announce over the weekend the opening of a dispute with the British”, which would open the door to legal proceedings.

Beaune has emphasized that this would be a way of transferring to London that “they do not respect the agreement approved with the European Union (EU” and that “all Europeans recognize that they do not respect the agreement”. “A legal procedure is not just papers in court, but customs measures that the EU could collectively apply, “he added.

Along these lines, he has argued that “this firmness has made it possible to obtain the vast majority of licenses” and has pointed out that “each missing boat is a problem for a family, for an economic activity”, for which he has defended that ” will fight firmly and dialogue, if possible “, to achieve a solution.

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The president of France, Emmanuel Macron, affirmed on Thursday that this Friday’s session “will say if the agreements are respected” and showed his hope that “a new path will be opened.” He also asked London for “good faith” cooperation on defense matters.

“We have difficult relations. Why? Because the current (British) government does not do what it says it is going to do,” he said, according to the LCI broadcaster. “I love the UK, I love its people. I would love to have a government that simply wants to work in good faith with us,” he added.

Beaune himself asked the EU on December 1 to take “retaliatory” measures against the United Kingdom if there is no post-Brexit fishing agreement for December 10, the deadline established by Paris, given the differences between the two countries on this point.

The British minister for Brexit, David Frost, has already said that his country is “actively” contemplating the launch of the mechanism for the resolution of disputes stipulated in the exit agreements from the European Union to solve the current fisheries dispute with France.

Under the Brexit trade agreement reached at the end of 2020, European fishermen can operate in British waters as long as they can demonstrate that they previously operated there. Paris insists that almost half of the license applications submitted by French fishermen have yet to be accepted despite having submitted the documents requested by the British authorities.


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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