Europe

France threatens retaliation against UK over fishing deal

Measures could be confirmed by next week

Shweta Desai   | 13.10.2021
France threatens retaliation against UK over fishing deal

PARIS

France could activate retaliatory measures against Britain by next week if the latter continues to breach the post-Brexit fishing agreement, a government spokesperson announced on Wednesday.

Speaking at the weekly press conference, Gabriel Attal called the British government’s position over the contentious fishing agreement “unacceptable.”

He added that the French government and the fishing associations have always provided the documents demanded by the UK and been extremely patient in the “anxious situation.”

“We have always respected the agreement, but the UK has not,” Attal said.

His statement follows a joint declaration signed by France and 11 EU countries on Monday condemning the UK’s approach. They demanded that Britain comply with the agreement and provide access to the European ships in British waters in a fair way.

Attal said French President Emmanuel Macron and Prime Minister Jean Castex had asked the government to work on different measures that can be revoked against the UK.

“If we notice that the UK is deliberately not respecting the agreement, these measures can be activated by the end of next week,” Attal said without elaborating on the details of the measures.

Earlier, the French government had announced to review bilateral deals and even cut off the electricity supply to the Jersey island if the UK fails to fully enforce the fishing agreement.

The two countries have been at loggerheads over the fishing rights after the UK cut down permits to the majority of French fishermen who have traditionally fished in the British waters off the coast of Jersey.

French Maritime Minister Annick Girardin is also scheduled to meet the vice president of the European Commission to discuss the issue this Friday.

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