British and French talks to settle fishing row end in stalemate

1 year ago 162

Talks betwixt the British and French governments to settee a post-Brexit sportfishing enactment person ended successful stalemate arsenic No 10 said it did not judge Paris would travel done connected threats to dilatory down trade.

The Brexit minister, David Frost, spent astir 90 minutes gathering France’s Europe minister, Clément Beaune, successful Paris connected Thursday, but contempt smiles for the cameras, the 2 sides remained acold apart.

Boris Johnson’s spokesperson said: “We don’t judge the French are readying to determination guardant with the erstwhile threats they’ve made.” Beaune, however, said France wanted to springiness dialog a chance, but “the enactment for retaliatory measures remains open”.

France and Britain are astatine likelihood implicit the rights of French fishers successful the six to 12-mile portion astir the UK enactment and Jersey and Guernsey. The quality threatened to extremity into a full-blown commercialized war, until the French president, Emmanuel Macron, called for much talks connected Monday, holding backmost connected a menace to dilatory down British imports coming into France.

In bid to unafraid a sportfishing licence successful the six- to 12-mile zone, EU boats, which are mostly French, person to beryllium they person worked the country successful the past. British sources accidental they person received applications that lacked impervious of erstwhile activity. But France denied this claim: “There person been nary applications made without grounds of past activity, often precise detailed. We are not asking for thing for nothing,” Beaune told reporters.

UK sources said determination had been nary alteration successful the British presumption and denied French claims of a deliberate determination to contradict French sportfishing crews licences.

A UK authorities spokesperson said Frost and Beaune “discussed the scope of difficulties arising from the exertion of the agreements betwixt the UK and the EU. Both sides acceptable retired their positions and concerns”.

After the meeting, Beaune told reporters France had a occupation with the British methodology: “We see that their demands are supplementary to those successful the [post Brexit trade] treaty. What we privation present is simply a affirmative tone from the British, goodwill … to judge the proofs we person provided. We privation to instrumentality to the tone and the missive of the agreement.”

Although Beaune described the talks arsenic positive, helium said the British were “again asking for further requirements and proofs to what is successful the treaty”, adding that British sources person said they are unfastened to a scope of grounds showing past activity, not lone GPS data, which immoderate smaller boats cannot provide. The British accidental they volition judge logbooks and landing records, but that immoderate boats person failed to supply immoderate impervious of activity.

The post-Brexit commercialized woody agreed past Christmas Eve does not specify however sportfishing crews should beryllium their erstwhile sportfishing activity.

Beaune and Frost program to talk again aboriginal adjacent week, astir apt by phone.

In a written connection to parliament, the authorities said it has granted astir 98% of EU licence applications, but this includes each those granted to food successful the UK’s acold larger exclusive economical zone, an work nether the treaty. Under the post-Brexit commercialized agreement, the UK has to let EU boats to food successful the ample territorial zone, with further agreements to settee sharing-out quotas.

The quality comes amid an ongoing deadlock implicit the Northern Ireland protocol. Frost, who is owed to conscionable the EU’s UK relations pointman, the commission’s vice-president, Maroš Šefčovič, connected Friday, is calling for far-reaching changes to the agreement, including abandoning the oversight of the European tribunal of justness – a reddish enactment for the EU.

UK officials person insisted determination is nary nexus betwixt the sportfishing enactment and the protocol, amid speculation Frost is seeking to usage food arsenic leverage to get changes to the Northern Ireland agreement.