France on Monday asked the European Commission to be more “active“in the settlement of the post-Brexit dispute between Paris and London on fishing.
“We say to the European Commission, I said this again this afternoon to Maros Sefkovic (Vice-President of the Commission): ‘We would be very happy to be able to deal with this issue as an EU issue in its own right’“, launched the French Secretary of State for European Affairs, Clément Beaune, in an interview on the Politico website.
“This is an EU issue, it should be treated as an EU issue and France is asking for it to be“, he hammered, deploring that the dispute has”not taken seriously enough initially in the Commission“.
France calls for more fishing licenses
France is demanding more fishing licenses in London and the Channel Island of Jersey as part of the post-Brexit deal.
She announced sanctions as of November 1 before suspending them pending the outcome of further discussions. Clément Beaune spoke once again with the British Secretary of State for Brexit, David Frost, on Sunday evening on this subject.
“We will stick to that (respect for agreements, editor’s note). We will play European and we will ask the Commission to be more active, firmer and more categorical in this discussion.“, insisted the French official who spoke in English.
An impact for the whole European Union
Beyond fishing, which more specifically affects France for reasons “geographic“, the post-Brexit agreement implies the respect of a series of commitments likely to have an impact for the whole of the EU, he explained.
“If Europe is not able collectively to demand respect for it and to obtain it, we will have a long-term problem on the implementation of the agreement and on the confidence we can have in the United Kingdom. United“, he insisted.
The French government is increasing its offensive declarations and hammering out its determination vis-à-vis London while fishermen fear a setback and the subject has become an electoral issue as the April 2022 presidential election approaches.
French fishermen are also preparing an action for the next few days to protest against the blockage on the file of post-Brexit fishing licenses, announced a local source.
This action, “at the national level and coordinated by the national fisheries committee“, is not yet precisely defined but should”rather aim for export“to the United Kingdom,” explained the president of the Hauts-de-France regional fisheries committee (North), Olivier Leprêtre, during a press conference.
“Slowing down the French economy is out of the question, we will affect the British economy“, he explained, also stressing that he did not want to penalize British fishermen by preventing them from unloading their products.