France and 10 other EU nations join forces against UK amid Brexit fishing feud

12 October 2021, 16:06

Eleven EU nations have joined forces against Boris Johnson's government amid the ongoing fishing row
Eleven EU nations have joined forces against Boris Johnson's government amid the ongoing fishing row. Picture: Alamy

By James Morris

Ten EU nations have joined France in accusing the UK of failing to stick to its Brexit agreement amid the ongoing fishing row.

The 10 nations – Germany, Belgium, Cyprus, Spain, Greece, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal and Sweden – co-signed the statement with France, which continues to feud with the UK over fishing permits.

However, The Times reported French officials had been briefing that most EU nations supported its cause – but were left humiliated after only 10 signed up.

The paper also reported the wording dropped another threat linked to energy supplies.

This comes after France, which exports 47% of the UK’s electricity, suggested last week it may cut these supplies.

Annick Girardin, France’s fishing minister, acknowledged the government is trying to pursue its case “more serenely”.

She tweeted last night: “The objective of the agreement: to guarantee the continuity of access for European ships in a fair framework. The United Kingdom has signed it, it must respect it.”

She added this afternoon: “Whether they like it or not, 11 member countries of the European Union joined forces yesterday to support French fishermen.

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“This is an important step which allows us to consider more serenely the continuation of the negotiations with the British.”

Girardin signed off her tweets with the hashtag “#IWantMyLicensesBack”.

Rows over the UK’s adherence to the Brexit deal have rumbled throughout the year.

The latest one has been sparked by the UK and Jersey, a British crown dependency, issuing reduced numbers of fishing licences to French boats.