Tuesday, October 12, 2021

France, Ten EU Nations Call for A Common Front against Britain - Tasnim News Agency

cutting off power to Jersey and Guernsey

(Tasnim) – France has rallied its European allies to present a 'common front' against the UK in the row over post-Brexit fishing licenses.
Ten nations - including Germany, Italy, Spain and Belgium - today joined the French in signing a joint statement that calls on the UK to abide by the terms of the Brexit trade agreement and ensure 'continuity' for French fishing fleets, the Daily Mail reported.

They take particular issue with Britain's demand that French vessels supply geolocation data to get a license, saying it 'is not provided for in the deal.'

But the statement also rows back on threats coming from the Elysee Palace in recent weeks, calling on all sides to 'calmly' negotiate a solution.

France accuses Britain of violating the post-Brexit agreement by denying licenses to French fishermen who have historically fished in UK waters.

But London says licenses have only been denied to boats where skippers were unable to provide evidence of their traditional grounds.

The statement by the 11 EU nations came after a meeting of agriculture and fisheries ministers in Luxembourg - and a week after French President Emmanuel Macron called for more pressure to be applied to Britain in the dispute.

French Fisheries Minister Annick Girardin tweeted out the statement, saying it was designed 'to push the UK to respect the Brexit deal.'

The statement says Britain's request for geolocation data from small fishing boats to prove their historic hunting grounds 'is not provided for in the deal, and is not required by European regulations'.

'We therefore call on the United Kingdom to promptly respond and undertake further technical work in accordance with... the agreement,' the statement says.

However, it also dials back on some inflammatory threats made by France in recent weeks - including cutting off power to Jersey and Guernsey, as well as blocking ports around Christmas - by saying 'this response is necessary to calmly approach forthcoming negotiations.'

The statement was revised from an earlier version, penned by French diplomats, that included harsher language criticizing the UK's 'unsatisfactory' and 'contradictory' response.

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