UK approves 23 new fishing licences, but France wants 81 more

CREDIT: Image by Wilfried Pohnke from Pixabay

In the latest development in the post-Brexit fishing dispute between the UK and France, the UK has approved 23 new fishing licences, but France wants 81 more.

The UK has approved 23 more licences for French fishermen in British waters, the government spokesperson announced on Saturday, the day after the deadline given by Paris for resolution of this post-Brexit dispute. France wants 81 more licences.

“Last night, following receipt of new evidence from the [European] Commission, the UK licensed 18 replacement vessels. Further technical work on seven more licences for direct replacement vessels is scheduled to conclude on Monday,” said the sposkeperson.

“Jersey has today announced that it can, following receipt of new data this week, issue permanent licences to an additional five qualifying vessels currently on temporary licences. This will take the total permanent licences issued by Jersey to 130,” he added.

According to the announcement, the decisions “conclude this phase of intensive talks on licensing” that have taken place over the last few days between London and the European Commission, which is negotiating on behalf of France.

Following the announcement from the UK, the French government stated on Saturday that it will “continue working” with the European Union to obtain the remaining licences.

“France and the European Union will continue collaborating to guarantee the full implementation of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement,” said the Minister of the Sea, Annick Girardin, and the Secretary of State for European Affairs, Clément Beaune, in a statement.

After the difficult divorce that has taken place between the British and Europe, an agreement was drawn up to define relations, including a chapter on permits for fishing vessels (especially French) to operate in British waters.

According to the agreement reached at the end of 2020, European fishermen can continue working in British waters if they can demonstrate that they were doing so previously.

However, the UK and France differ in the type of legal documents required.

“This decision is an important step in a long process. We will examine together with administration the legal circumstances around every licence request that has not been granted,” said the European Commissioner for the Environment, Virginijus Sinkevicius.


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Tamsin Brown

Originally from London, Tamsin is based in Malaga and is a local reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering Spanish and international news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]