According to EU Fisheries Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevicius, the EU has “managed to get most of the licenses that were requested” .The post-Brexit dispute between France and Britain over fishing licenses for French fishermen is close to being resolved after months of negotiations, EU Fisheries Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevicius said Sunday.
“We have managed to obtain most of the licenses that were requested” by the French boat owners to fish in British waters, with only 70 licenses outstanding, the EU commissioner told the Financial Times.
The European Commission, which has supported France in this dispute, “fully intends to continue to build a satisfactory and constructive relationship with the United Kingdom,” he assured. As part of the agreement signed at the end of 2020 between London and Brussels on relations between the European Union and Britain after Brexit, London agreed to allow French fishing boats to work in British waters as they have done for centuries.
Contacted by AFP, the European Commission has not confirmed this information. For its part, the French Ministry of the Sea has assured that “there is no particular news on the subject.
As part of the agreement signed at the end of 2020 between London and Brussels on relations between the European Union and Britain after Brexit, London agreed to allow French fishing boats to work in British waters as they had done for centuries.
But despite granting nearly 1,700 fishing licenses to EU boats, Britain has required, for the renewal of fishing rights, justifications that Paris says are very difficult for French boats operating in the very fishy area 6-12 nautical miles off the coast. Under the agreement between London and the EU, European fishermen can continue to work in British waters as long as they can prove that they used to fish there. Applications for licenses for 150 boats were initially rejected.
The Commission has provided legal support to France, while French fishermen have threatened to blockade French ports and the Channel Tunnel if they do not get more licenses. In December, France announced that it would ask the European Commission to initiate a post-Brexit litigation procedure against the UK for a number of fishing licenses, explaining that there were 80 outstanding applications.
P.L. with AFP