France vows to 'fight every day' as post-Brexit fishing row continues

21 November 2021, 19:22

France has pledged to "fight every day" to succeed in the ongoing row with the UK.
France has pledged to "fight every day" to succeed in the ongoing row with the UK. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

France has vowed to "fight every day" for its fishermen's rights as the post-Brexit fishing row with the UK continues.

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Minister of the sea Annick Girardin made the pledge during a visit to fishermen in northern France on Sunday.

"We fight every day for these ships, for these licences, and we will not give up," she said, criticising the British interpretation of post-Brexit rules over fishing rights as "inadmissible".

Ms Girardin's comments came just three days after she said the French Government was considering providing financial compensation to French fishermen who could not get licences.

However, the move had prompted harsh criticism from local fishermen who feared France would give up the fight.

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On Friday, French President Emmanuel Macron said that France "will not yield", adding that the UK was "playing with our nerves".

The war of words began over the UK refusing to grant licences to certain French fishing boats, insisting it would only approve licences for boats meeting the criteria set out in the Brexit deal.

So far, 961 fishing licences have been granted to French boats, according to French authorities, but France wants around 150 more licences.

Tensions between the two countries have continued to rise over recent months, with Mr Macron threatening to bar British fishing boats from some ports and tighten customs checks at borders unless a "significant move" was made in granting more licences.

However, the deadline for the new sanctions was later extended.

Ms Girardin said France had set a deadline for fishing talks, led by the EU, to end in December.