UK rejects French claim of steps towards agreement over fishing rights row

11 months ago 109

A quality betwixt the UK and France implicit post-Brexit sportfishing rights has importantly escalated pursuing a gathering betwixt Boris Johnson and Emmanuel Macron, with Downing Street rejecting a French assertion that the 2 leaders had agreed a way towards resolving the issue.

Johnson and the French president met unsocial for fractional an hr connected Sunday greeting connected the fringes of the G20 acme successful Rome, wherever they discussed adjacent week’s Cop26 clime summit, arsenic good arsenic tensions implicit Northern Ireland and fishing.

Following the meeting, French officials said determination had been statement implicit a way towards de-escalating the sportfishing dispute, which has seen Paris rise the threat of commercialized barriers implicit what it says is the unfair allocation of post-Brexit licences to food successful UK waters.

The 2 countries had agreed to enactment connected “practical and operational measures” to resoluteness the quality successful the coming days, Macron’s officials said, adding: “We are giving ourselves the abstraction for de-escalation successful the coming hours.”

When asked astir this, however, Johnson’s spokesperson denied that immoderate statement had been reached, oregon that determination were adjacent ceremonial plans for much talks to sermon the situation.

“I’ve seen immoderate of the aforesaid reporting pursuing that meeting,” helium said. “It volition beryllium for the French to determine whether they privation to measurement distant from the threats they person made successful caller days astir breaching the Brexit agreement. Of course, we would invited that if they privation to de-escalate the threats that they person made.”

Asked whether this meant nary statement had been reached, the spokesperson said: “You would person to inquire the French authorities astir whether they privation to proceed with the threats they person made.”

Questioned connected the comments by French officials that the leaders had agreed to much “exchanges” betwixt the 2 sides, Johnson’s spokesperson said: “If the French authorities wishes to travel guardant with however they privation to de-escalate the threats that they person made, past we would perfectly invited them.”

He said: “The presumption we are successful is that the French authorities has made a bid of threats astir what they volition do, and they person imposed their ain deadline. It is present up to the French authorities astir whether they privation to resile from that position, but our stance has not changed.”

The conflicting briefings travel a time earlier Johnson is owed to formally unfastened the Cop26 gathering successful Glasgow, 1 the premier curate has repeatedly said is important to the aboriginal of humanity.

Downing Street officials declined to accidental why, successful their view, the French had fixed a seemingly misleading relationship of the meeting, but they did rise the anticipation that the “mooted” exchanges were simply a notation to much standard, lower-level interaction betwixt officials that would beryllium expected anyway.

Earlier, astatine the G20 gathering, Johnson sought to play down the dispute, stressing his adjacent links to Macron and saying helium had “bigger food to fry” successful presumption of preparing for Cop26.

Johnson’s Brexit minister, David Frost, has been much outspoken, expressing alarm astatine French threats to enforce barriers connected trade, and perchance connected vigor supplies, from Tuesday if determination is nary advancement connected sportfishing licenses.

Downing Street has said that if specified measures were taken it would presumption them arsenic breaching the post-Brexit commercialized and practice agreement, and that the UK could formally statesman a quality nether the presumption of the deal.

Downing Street’s ceremonial relationship of the Johnson-Macron gathering said the premier curate “reiterated his heavy interest implicit the rhetoric emanating from the French authorities successful caller days, including the proposition by the French premier curate that the UK should beryllium punished for leaving the EU. He expressed his anticipation that the French authorities would de-escalate this rhetoric and retreat their threats.”