Fishermen in the Hauts-de-France region have accused Britain of still holding back on 65 permits. Under the terms of last year’s trade deal, fishing licences must be granted to all vessels which have historically used British waters.
A ferocious dispute has broken out between the UK and France since the end of the transition period at the start of this year as to whether licences are fairly being issued.
Emmanuel Macron’s government issued a series of threats in October and November, vowing to retaliate against the UK if licences were not granted.
Artus Galiay, the representative to the UK for the Hauts-de-France region told Express.co.uk: “What local people say is that they are still short of about 65 licences.”
He said in recent weeks up to 40 new licences had been granted to fisheries.
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The progress came after close collaboration between the UK and EU to provide the necessary paperwork for a licence to be issued.
Fisheries are required to provide proof of catching in the waters at least one day a year between 2012 and 2016 to be eligible for a licence.
Officials in London showed flexibility by allowing vessels that have been replaced due to old age to still be allowed licences despite the lack of historic data.
However, Mr Galiay warned more needed to be done if French fishing communities were to be kept happy.
“It’s good some progress has been made on that front but so far it’s still not fully solved in terms of the overall issue,” he said as he urged Mr Macron to find a solution.
“All locals want really is results.
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“For them this is not just a political issue it’s really about their livelihoods and being able to continue living just as they have for years or even decades.”
France has said it will formally ask EU to start legal proceedings against the UK for not issuing more licences in January.
It hopes the action will put further pressure on the Government to issue more permits.
Officials in London insist they have granted licences to all vessels which have supplied the necessary evidence.
They say more than 98 percent of applications have been granted and they will continue to assess new documentation brought forward.
Critical of President Macron’s combative approach, Mr Galiay added: “I see the French government has now asked the EU to launch specific action against the UK to make sure the licences are provided.
“What I think in my view is unfortunate is that all that should be solved through political dialogue between France and the UK.
“It’s unfortunate these kinds of means are used by the French government to achieve that end.”
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