The UK risked further souring relations with Paris on Tuesday after announcing a decision to allow only a handful of smaller French boats to fish in UK coastal waters.
French sea minister Annick Girardin reportedly said: “French fishing must not be taken hostage by the British for political ends.”
Meanwhile, Jersey has denied fishing licenses to 75 French boats. The United Kingdom stated that it will review more information to support any outstanding fishing rights bids.
Ms. Girardin, quoted in French newspaper Le Monde, said: “It is a new refusal of the British to apply the conditions of the Brexit accord despite all the work undertaken together.
“I have only one watchword; to obtain definitive licenses for our fishermen as the accord foresees.”
Fishing was one of the most problematic subjects in the post-Brexit trade talks between the UK and the EU, and it remains so.
Who Controls the Fishing Rights in the United Kingdom?
Many European boats have long fished in British seas, and many British enterprises sell their products in European markets, giving both sides significant bargaining power.
The number of French vessels that will fish in British waters in the English Channel and around the Channel Islands is a particular focus.
Jean Castex, the French Prime Minister, recently wrote to Ursula Von der Leyen, the President of the European Commission. He warned that the crisis was far from resolved and that a local disagreement may swiftly escalate into a more extensive European issue.
The deadline for foreign boats to submit evidence that they have fished near Jersey in the past has been extended until the end of this month, following protests by French vessels in the waters around Jersey in May.
France, on the other hand, is unlikely to be impressed by the rejection of 75 boats. Nonetheless, fishermen claimed that they were unable to operate in British seas due to difficulty getting licenses. To obtain a license for Jersey’s waters, French boat owners must establish a history of fishing in the area, according to an agreement with the EU. However, it has been claimed that new criteria were imposed without warning.