Macron says ‘the ball is in Britain’s court’

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The British trawler which was held in French water since last week has finally been released by French authorities, amid the dispute over post-Brexit fishing rights. But the Franco-British fishing row is not over with Brexit minister Lord David Frost meeting European minister Clement Beaune today, in an attempt to defuse the tense situation.

France had threatened sanctions to the UK over what they think is a refusal to issue licences to its trawlers to operate in UK waters. Under the Brexit deal, the EU and UK agreed they would give licences to boats if they can show they have previously fished in each other’s waters. But the French became enraged when some applications were denied.

Around 1,831 applications for licences have been received and 1,793 issued.

The French demanded further licences by midnight on Monday for its vessels in the UK and Jersey’s waters, threatening extra customs checks and a ban on British fishing boats at some ports if not. However, French President Emmanuel Macron stopped the action after the European Commission Cabinet called for further talks.

Lord Frost will follow his talks with Mr Beaune in Paris by meeting the European Commission vice-president Maros Sefcovic in Brussels on Friday.

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Johnson’s Brexit demand is ‘impossible and he knows it’, says EU vice president

Lord David Frost is the centre of all disputes this week.

He wishes for the European Court of Justice (ECJ) to be replaced with an independent arbitration panel and that it can have no role settling disputes in Northern Ireland.

But the EU has rejected a British demand to end any role for European court judges in Northern Ireland.

The European Commission’s vice president Frans Timmermans said it was “extremely well-known in London” that the demand to ditch the European Court of Justice (ECJ) could not be met.

“I think Frost knows very well that this is not possible for the European Union,” Mr Timmermans told ITV.

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