Politics

‘Work to do!’ Fishing row persists despite ‘positive’ talks between UK and Paris

UK-France fishing row still has ‘flammable material’ says Deas

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On Thursday a 90-minute meeting with Lord Frost and French Europe minister Clement Beaune did not reach a deal to end the fishing row. However, Paris suggested a “new state of mind” in talks with London but added “all options are still on the table.”

The French minister continued: “As long as dialogue seems possible, we are giving it a chance, with no naivety… and a requirement to see results.”

Brexit Minister Lord Frost and French Europe minister Clement Beaune met in Paris on Thursday amid hopes the dispute over the granting of licences to fish in the UK and Jersey could be resolved.

At the end of the meeting Mr Beaune said the discussion had been “useful and positive” but warned “there is still a lot of work to do.”

France is still suggesting it lacks 200 licences for French vessels to access UK fishing grounds, while the UK suggests it has followed the Brexit trade agreement.

A Downing Street spokesperson said: “Lord Frost and Europe Minister Clément Beaune met in Paris this morning.

“As foreshadowed, they discussed the range of difficulties arising from the application of the agreements between the UK and the EU. Both sides set out their positions and concerns.

“Lord Frost will meet European Commission Vice President Maroš Šefčovič in Brussels tomorrow. Lord Frost and Minister Beaune expect to speak again early next week.”

Threats from France to impose sanctions on Britain were suspended on Monday.

The Brexit deal suggests EU boats which can demonstrate they have fished in British waters in at least four of the years from 2012 to 2016 are eligible for a licence.

Britain suggests 1,793 licenses have been issued out of 1,831 applications.

France insists its fisherman feature disportionately among those who have had permits declined.

The main contention has been for smaller vessels, the under 12-metre category fishing between six and 12 nautical miles of the coast.

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Among these boats 50 applications have been received from French vessels, however only 19 have been issued.

In October, France detained one British fishing boat off of Normandy for not having a licence, while fining another.

The UK has only handed out 103 in 2021, however officials in London say they have granted 98 percent of licences.

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