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France urges Brussels to increase pressure on Britain over fishing rights

Newsletter: Europe Express

France warned of growing fishermen’s dissatisfaction and the risk of new concerns after the blockade of Jersey this year, and called on Brussels to increase pressure on Britain over fishing rights.

French Prime Minister Jean Castex, in a letter sent this month by the , told European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to force Britain into a fishing compromise. He urged him to consider using other economic means.

The controversy between Britain and France concerns fishermen based on the Normandy coast accessing the waters of the English Channel, who have worked in the area for years and are now facing unreasonable restrictions. It states that it is.

Both sides failed to resolve a methodology that would allow French vessels to establish license rights to continue to use the body of water prior to the September 30 deadline.

British officials claimed that the authorities did not seek interference, but French fishermen did not provide high-quality data to support their claims.

French boats qualify for fishing permits under the terms of a fishing contract that formed part of the EU-UK Trade Cooperation Agreement signed in December 2020 in the Jersey waters between 2017 and 2020. You need to prove that you have a history of operating in.

French fisherman after protest in Jersey waters. © Siegfried Modra / Getty Images

Paris also accused Jersey of imposing “new technical measures” on French boats, effectively excluding them from the fishing industry. Jersey said the measure was designed to ensure the sustainability of the island’s fishing grounds.

May of this year, UK Dispatch More than 50 French fishing vessels gathered in the port of St. Helier and protested the handling of fishing rights on the island, causing Royal Navy vessels to patrol off Jersey.

As a sign that France’s fishing rights have aroused political sentiment, the state’s maritime minister, Annick Girardin, has threatened to cut off power to Jersey, which is supplied by France via submarine cables.

When asked in the middle of a controversy by a French parliamentarian last May, he said, “I regret it when I get there,” but “I will do it if necessary.”

Given the French presidential election in April next year, the politically flammable topic of fishery rights is particularly sensitive.

In the letter, Castex warned of the growing fatigue and frustration of his fishermen, saying Britain did not appear to respect the spirit in which the agreement was negotiated. It was signed. “

Gerard Lomiti, chairman of the French Aquaculture Commission, said the fishermen “feel that they have participated in these discussions. They have gathered so much information that every question asked by the authorities has been months to numbers. I answered over the months. ” ..

“Nevertheless, no progress has been made in these technical negotiations, and temporary approval is expected to end at the end of this month,” he added.

However, Jersey’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Ian Gorst believes that “good progress” has been made towards the issuance of licenses for qualified vessels, and that an announcement is coming soon. Stated.

“”Like May of this year, the Jersey government We fully respect the right of French fishermen to peacefully protest the fishing licenses issued under the new trade cooperation agreement, “he added.

The European Commission said it is urging British authorities to promptly grant permission to fishermen, especially as the temporary arrangements around the Channel Islands will end on September 30.

“This will provide continuity to the fishing activities of the EU fishermen involved,” he said. “We have reminded the UK authorities to implement what has been agreed upon. We are currently providing all relevant evidence to the UK authorities.”

A spokesperson for Defra, the UK’s fishing sector, said he was aware of planned protests by French fishermen, but the UK was “based on consistent evidence” of EU vessel approval in British waters. “Approach” is taken.

“Jersey and Ghanji also show flexibility by allowing continued access to EU vessels while evidence is being collected and licensing decisions are being made. We continue to work with the EU Commission. We are working with the French government and look forward to communicating further licensing decisions in the near future, “they added.

France urges Brussels to increase pressure on Britain over fishing rights

Source link France urges Brussels to increase pressure on Britain over fishing rights

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