By Chris King •
Updated: 02 Jun 2022 • 15:58
Fears that the French could block the Channel Tunnel after a new row brews over the refusal of fishing licences
A fresh row has broken out between the French and British Governments over the UK’s refusal to grant a full quota of fishing permits to small French fishing boats wanting to fish in the exclusive economic zone of British territorial waters.
At least three-quarters of the permits applied for from French fishing boats measuring less than twelve metres were refused, which was 12 out of 47 who requested permission, and now a series of threats are being made, one of which includes the possibility of the Channel Tunnel being blockaded.
British ministers from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) have claimed the decision is within the agreements laid down by Brexit, and fail to see what the problem is.
In direct opposition, Annick Girardin, the French sea minister told Le Monde publication that this move represents a “new refusal of the British to apply the conditions of the Brexit accord”, adding, “French fishing must not be taken hostage by the British for political ends”.
Clement Beaune, France’s Europe minister said they would “not hesitate to take retaliatory action”, while another politician, Jean-Pierre Pont, who represents the coastal town of Boulogne-sur-Mer, and is also a member of the ruling Republique en Marche party – whose head, of course, is President Macron – made his threats very clear.
“Be warned. Since the British are refusing to honour 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 tunnel”, said Pont.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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