France vows to continue fighting in fishing dispute with UK | Economic news


PARIS (AP) – The French Minister for the Sea on Sunday promised to “continue the fight” in the dispute between the country and Great Britain over fishing rights.

Minister Annick Girardin met with fishermen from northern France on Sunday.

“We fight every day for these vessels, for these licenses, and we will not give up,” she told reporters, criticizing the British interpretation of post-Brexit rules on fishing rights as “unacceptable “.

Fishing is a small industry economically, but one which occupies a symbolically important place for both Great Britain and France, which have long and dear maritime traditions.

British licenses are at the center of the dispute following Britain’s split from the European Union earlier this year. Before Brexit, French fishermen could fish deep in British waters. Now they have to get a special license from the UK government or the UK Crown Autonomous Dependencies of Jersey and Guernsey to fish in certain areas.

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These authorities have already granted 961 fishing licenses to French boats, according to the French authorities, but France wants around 150 additional licenses. Girardin said France has set a deadline for the EU-led fisheries talks to end in December.

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Friday that France “will not give in”. The British are “playing on our nerves”, he said.

Sunday’s comments came three days after Girardin said the French government was considering giving financial compensation to French fishermen who cannot get a license. This decision had sparked strong criticism from local fishermen who feared that France would give up the fight.

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