France retaliates against UK in fishing spat

PARIS — France will introduce further controls on boats and vans coming from the U.Okay. in retaliation for what it says is Britain’s failure to honor its commitments on fishing rights, the federal government announced Wednesday.

It additionally threatened to disrupt the U.Okay.’s vitality provide if Britain fails to handle French issues over fishing licenses. London branded the proposed strikes “very disappointing.”

The transfer comes after France last month vowed motion in opposition to the U.Okay.’s refusal to grant fishing permits to three-quarters of small French boats that requested permission to fish within the waters between the 2 international locations.

France mentioned that didn’t adjust to the phrases of the settlement on fisheries signed as a part of the Brexit commerce deal.

From November 2, it’s going to ban British fishing boats from touchdown at designated French ports and introduce systematic safety controls of British boats in addition to strengthened well being and customs controls, it mentioned Wednesday. It can even reinforce checks on vans headed to or coming from the U.Okay.

The affected ports must be introduced at first of subsequent week, in response to a French diplomatic official. They mentioned the brand new controls shouldn’t apply to the Eurostar rail hyperlink between the 2 international locations.

“There are still a big number of missing fishing licenses to which French fishermen are entitled,” the French authorities assertion mentioned. “To this day the United Kingdom hasn’t responded to our demands, and even introduced new conditions that aren’t included in the [post-Brexit] trade and cooperation agreement.”

It mentioned “a second series” of measures was additionally “being prepared.”

“France doesn’t rule out reviewing the energy supply to the United Kingdom,” the federal government mentioned within the assertion.

France can also be asking the European Commission to carry a gathering of the EU-UK Partnership Council “as soon as possible,” whereas calling for a united European response.

“No other European cooperation issue with the United Kingdom will be able to move forward without restoring trust and fully applying the signed agreements,” the assertion mentioned.

Responding to the French assertion, the U.Okay.’s Brexit point-man David Frost launched a volley of tweets, saying it was “very disappointing that France has felt it necessary to make threats late this evening against the UK fishing industry and seemingly traders more broadly.”

And he added: “As we have had no formal communication from the French Government on this matter we will be seeking urgent clarification of their plans. We will consider what further action is necessary in that light.”

A U.Okay. authorities spokesperson in the meantime mentioned the most recent French place was “not what we would expect from a close ally and partner.”

“The measures being threatened do not appear to be compatible with the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) and wider international law, and, if carried through, will be met with an appropriate and calibrated response,” the spokesperson added. “We will be relaying our concerns to the EU Commission and French government.”

This story has been up to date.

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