France and Britain have been at loggerheads for months over how many licences French fishermen should get as part of a post-Brexit deal, with France accusing Britain of not handing out enough permits and Britain saying it is respecting the deal. But with talks dragging on, fishermen have decided to take matters into their own hands according to Olivier Lepretre, president of the business body that represents fishermen’s interests in northern France.
Mr Lepretre said: “Action is imminent.” Without going into details of what form the action will be taken, he made clear that it would affect trade, saying: “Britain wants to get access to the European market? They should give us the licences. If not, we will cut their access.”
Speaking yesterday, French Minister for European Affairs Clement Beaune hinted patience was wearing thin.
He said: “We still have all options on the table, including these measures, we will prefer to have it on the EU level but if nothing happens at the EU level we will take French measures. But I don’t want to go into that.
“If we want to work together on defence, and security, and foreign policy, and crises like the one we see in Belarus, or maybe in Ukraine, in the Balkans, which is a big concern for the UK as well, you need trust and to be true to your words.
“If we have doubts, it’ll never work. So I say to the UK again, this is in your best interest to settle this.”
Additional reporting by Luke Hawker and Ciaran McGrath.
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