France imposes possible sanctions in fishing dispute with Britain


Photo: ANP

If the fishing dispute between France and the United Kingdom is not resolved quickly, France may impose new sanctions. With this warning, Paris is trying to put pressure on the situation. France is preparing new measures that will take effect on November 2.

For example, France could introduce more border controls for British products. British fishing vessels could also be banned from French ports. France plans to publish a full list of possible sanctions later this week.

The British government described the French threats as “disappointing and disproportionate”. Moreover, according to the British, disrupting trade is “inconsistent with Brexit agreements and broader international law.” Downing Street says the French actions will be responded to appropriately.

The French are unhappy that the UK issues so few permits that French fishermen are allowed to fish in British waters. The British government says other small fishing vessels cannot prove conclusively that they are also fishing in British waters before Brexit. According to Paris, with this hard line, the UK is violating the agreements it made with the European Union when the British left the country’s bloc.

Earlier this year, France and the United Kingdom deployed warships near the island of Jersey. The reason was also at the time to limit the fishing of French boats in British waters.

Fisheries was one of the most controversial topics during the UK’s exit negotiations from the European Union. Countries such as Ireland, France, and Spain wanted to protect employment in their coastal communities, while Britain tried to regain control of its territorial waters. This was especially important in symbolic terms, because from an economic point of view, fishing is a relatively small sector in the UK.

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