French fisheries may be exposed in UK 'tit-for-tat' says expert

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

Jersey’s Assistant Environment Minister Deputy Gregory Guida warned France could impose new rules on seafood landing in Carteret by Jersey fishermen in retaliation for the ongoing row between the UK and France over post-Brexit fishing rights.

Mr Guida told The Jersey Evening Post that that Jersey could soon face “more devious” action from France over the licensing dispute.

He warned: “The French have not finished – it’s not over. It seems that they are coming back into the fray in an even more devious way than they did before.

“I think they are coming back to the attack very soon.”

Asked to give examples of the type of measures France could take against UK fishermen, he said: “Everything might be ‘business as usual’ on paper and then when you try to land your fish in Carteret, they won’t let you, or you have to pay VAT in advance, or something silly that’s not legal but they have just invented.

“That sort of stuff can happen.

“They can certainly make the lives of our fishermen and traders very difficult, so we are still a little bit at the mercy of the French and we must be careful.”

The warning comes as French Maritime Minister Annick Girardin said earlier on Friday that France would “continue to fight every day to get what should be ours and so that those 150 licences arrive”.

Referring to Ms Girardin’s claims that Jersey was at fault for the dispute, Deputy Guida said: “It grates a bit to be put down as the cause.

“We know those boats don’t depend on our waters because we would have seen them. There would be a trace of their activities.”

He added: “Eleven days [the minimum number that constitutes historic fishing activity required to obtain a Jersey licence] is five per cent of the effort of a fisherman.

“If you have a boat and you don’t fish for 200 days a year you are not a fisherman, you’re an angler – to say that they couldn’t prove five per cent of their livelihood is complete nonsense.”

Tension has flared repeatedly in the row. France briefly seized a British fishing boat in its waters in October, and both countries sent maritime vessels to waters off the Channel island of Jersey earlier this year.

DON’T MISS:
Brexit LIVE: Final straw! Frost loses it as Queen dragged into EU row [LIVE BLOG]
Sturgeon warned Scots face £250 hike in bills under SNP dream [INSIGHT]
Nexit fury erupts as Brussels pushes Dutch farmers out with hated rule [ANALYSIS]

Emmanuel Macron and Prime Minister Boris Johnson discussed the row briefly in Rome on October 31 but there was little sign the dispute would be resolved.

Both leaders face domestic pressure to stand firm.

On Friday, Macron accused Britain on Friday of playing with his country’s nerves in a post-Brexit row over fishing rights and said France “will not yield”.

He renewed criticism of Britain in the dispute, which has harmed relations between the two countries, after France said it was still waiting for 150 more licences to be issued to French vessels to fish in British waters.

He said: “We have not got what we wanted. They are playing with our nerves.

“We will not yield.”

Relations between traditional allies Paris and London have become increasingly strained since Britain voted to leave the EU in 2016.

At the heart of the row is fishing, a topic that dogged Brexit talks for years not because of its economic importance but because of its political significance for both leaders.

Paris says London should have issued more French boats with licences to fish in British territorial waters since Britain left the European Union. Britain says it is respecting the arrangements that were agreed.

The dispute centres on the issuance of licences to fish in territorial waters six to 12 nautical miles off Britain’s shores, and in the seas off the Channel Island of Jersey.

Source: Read Full Article