| 29 May 2024, Wednesday |

UK grants 23 more licenses to French fishermen amid dispute

A day after the deadline set by Paris to resolve a post-Brexit spat over fishing rights, warning to take retaliatory measures against the UK, the later issued another 23 licenses to French fishing boats on Saturday, the European Commission (EC) said.
“Today the UK has issued 18 licences for EU replacement vessels in the UK territorial waters and 5 licences for EU vessels to access Jersey waters,” the EC said in a statement. “Further technical consultations will continue with the aim to have 7 additional replacement vessels licenced by the end of Monday.”
Welcoming the move as “an important step in a long process seeking full implementation of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement,” the EC said that there is still “a number of vessels” lacking license.
The commission added that it will continue to work with France and will examine the legal circumstances around “every requested” license which has not been granted.
After Paris threatened to impose sanctions on Nov. 2, Britain signaled to move constructively on the fishing licenses and joined in negotiations with the European Commission on the dispute over fishing licenses in the English Channel.
The measures included tightening customs on UK products and trucks and banning entry to British trawlers from unloading their cargo in French ports.
France maintains that Britain has breached the post-Brexit fishing agreement and shortchanged it with lesser licenses to French fishers. According to the new provisions in the wake of Brexit, fishers from the EU can continue to fish in British waters by obtaining a fresh license by proving that they have traditionally fished in those waters before.
The issue of fishing licenses has resulted in a standoff between the two countries for months. Earlier, France had threatened to retaliate by reducing the electricity supply to Jersey Island.