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France to seek EU action against Britain over fishing

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PARIS: Paris will ask the European Fee to open post-Brexit litigation proceedings in opposition to Britain over a long-running dispute on fishing licenses for French boats in British waters, France’s European affairs minister stated on Friday.

“Within the coming days we’ll ask the European Fee to launch litigation, a authorized process, for the licenses we’re entitled to,” Clement Beaune stated after President Emmanuel Macron met fishing representatives and native officers.

Seizing the EU-UK Partnership Council, set as much as settle commerce disagreements after Britain’s exit from the EU, “tells the British that this can be a European downside, that they aren’t respecting the settlement one hundred pc, and that this political strain will proceed,” Beaune stated.

French fishermen say London and the Channel Island of Jersey, a British crown dependency, are holding again on licenses for French boats that had been allowed to ply their waters for years earlier than Britain left the EU.

The dispute has sparked the potential of an all-out commerce conflict, with fishermen in northern France vowing this week to step up protests and block British boats from French ports alongside the Channel coast.

Britain agreed to concern an extra 23 licences to French fishermen on Saturday, however French Maritime Minister Annick Girardin stated after Friday’s assembly that 73 licence requests had been nonetheless excellent.

She stated talks with British and Jersey authorities would nonetheless proceed “to attempt to wrest” the approvals “licence by licence.” The European Union had set London a December 10 deadline to grant licences to dozens of French fishing boats beneath the post-Brexit commerce accord signed final 12 months, with Paris threatening European authorized motion if no breakthrough emerged.

British authorities say fishing vessels should show they already had entry to their waters earlier than Brexit, however French fishermen have complained that the brand new requirement is unreasonably exhausting to fulfill.

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