Brexit fishing POLL: Should Britain allow more French boats to fish in UK waters? VOTE

Baroness Hoey says 'bring it on' to French fishing war

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France has threatened to penalise the UK by withdrawing necessities like trade and energy supplies, in retaliation to a government decision to reject fishing license applications for three-quarters of small French fishing boats. The UK granted licenses to fish in its territorial waters to only 12 small French boats out of 47 recent applications, those rejected did not provide sufficient documentation evidencing a history of fishing, according to Number 10.


Twitter users argued that it is not the British who are at fault but the French, considering only 12 of 47 boats submitted their applications correctly, subsequently wasting government time.

French European Affairs Minister Clement Beaune accused the British government of refusing to honour the Brexit deal which allowed French fishermen to continue working in English territories.

Beaune said: “We understand the frustration of our fishermen and we share it because it is unbearable not to honour an agreement that has been signed.”

He sent this threat to the Prime Minister: “We hope not to get to that point, but there are retaliatory measures that are possible under the Brexit deal.

“In trade, to British products, for example. In the energy field as well, there are many subjects on which the British need us, and there is an overall agreement.

“If they don’t respect the part on fishing, we can and will take action, collectively in the EU.”

Overall, Downing Street has granted licences to almost 1,700 vessels to fish in the 12-200 nautical mile zone, and a further 105 licences were issued for vessels to fish in the 6-12 nautical mile zone where evidence supported a track record.

A UK government spokesperson said: “Our approach has been reasonable and fully in line with our commitments in the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) [Brexit deal]”.

The licensing department has said that discussion can continue with those whose applications were rejected once they provide more evidence of a fishing history in the waters.

The European Commission has announced that it will be investigating the UK’s methodology in relation to how they assess license applications, and will be asking the UK for “full disclosure”.

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A GB News fan said on Twitter that giving licences to 12 fishing boats out of 47 was far too many.

They added: “Our fishing stocks are low, it is our waters and only we, as an independent nation, should fish in them.”

Earlier this year, Britain and France both deployed maritime patrol vessels to the waters of Jersey after a rebel fleet of French trawlers sailed in protest to the Channel Island, arguing they were being unfairly excluded from the rich fishing grounds post-Brexit.

The government of Jersey announced on Friday that it would extend authorisation to EU boats fishing in its waters who are struggling to collect the required supporting documents. The extension will last until January 31.

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Speculation is mounting as to whether Boris Johnson will directly address the threats made by France over the fishing dispute.

Britons on social media have commended the tighter restrictions on fishing licenses post-Brexit.

Len Milner said that the UK is “taking proper control at last”, do you agree? Vote now and comment below.

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