France to ban UK seafood in retaliation for withholding fishing licences
France will next week ban British seafood exports and disrupt trade of other goods if the UK does not grant a swathe of fishing licences.
French President Emmanuel Macron escalated the feud between himself and Downing Street today, with Elysee spokesperson Gabriel Attal saying “we won’t let the British wipe their feet on the Brexit agreement”.
Attal added that Macron would hit the UK with other retaliatory measures, including switching off power to the Channel Islands, if the row is not resolved.
France claims the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement gave its fishermen the right to 175 licences to work off the coast of mainland Britain, but the UK has only handed out 100 this year.
The French government also says it has the right to 216 licences to fish off the coast of Jersey, but that it has only been given 105.
“Things are clear and we have said that we won’t let the British wipe their feet on the Brexit agreement,” Attal said.
“In concrete terms the government has established a list of licences to which we have the right. We have been working with the British and we have given them all the data, all the documents, all the information they request in support of these applications.
“What we see today is that 50 per cent of the licences to which we have the right are missing. This is a situation that is not acceptable and I say clear that our patience has run out.”
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