Minister of the Sea Annick Girardin regretted Tuesday the announcement from London of the granting of 12 new licenses to French fishermen for access to British territorial waters, while France requested 87 more.
“It is a new refusal of the British to apply the conditions of the Brexit agreement despite all the work undertaken together,” Annick Girardin said in a statement. “I have only one watchword: obtain definitive licenses for our fishermen as provided for in the agreement. French fishing must not be taken hostage by the British for political purposes, ”added the Minister.
Answers expected for Jersey and Guernsey
The standoff has been going on since Brexit and the subsequent agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Union, which foresees the obligation for European fishermen to obtain new licenses from London to continue fishing in an area between 6 and 12 nautical miles from the British coast. These licenses are conditional on proof of prior fishing practice in British waters.
London said it had studied 47 requests and not 87 as indicated by Paris. In total, including the licenses previously granted by London, 100 were issued out of 175, according to the French Ministry of the Sea.
Added to this is the access to the waters of the semi-autonomous Channel Islands Jersey and Guernsey. Paris is still awaiting responses to 169 requests for final authorizations in Jersey, and 168 in Guernsey.