Jersey fishing: Deal with France 'not working' says Thompson
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A spokesman also warned that if the “disappointing” situation materialised, it would be met with an “appropriate and calibrated response”. They spoke shortly after Mr Macron’s government threatened to impose tougher customs checks on goods crossing the Channel and ban British seafood over the spat.
It comes as an ongoing dispute over how many permits French fishermen have been handed by British authorities refuses to go away.
Just yesterday France’s Sea Minister Annick Girardin warned that Boris Johnson’s Government had until October 31 to sort out the issue or there would be sanctions.
Now Brexit-bashing French EU affairs minister Clément Beaune has stepped into the fray.
He claimed that unless the issue is resolved, a “series of measures” will be taken to hurt the UK.
He said: “Either this first series of measures leads to a dialogue about the licences, then that’s good.
“Or these measures do not lead to the deal being implemented and we will take other measures, including on the supply of electricity, for example.”
The outspoken comments by the French come without the full backing of the EU – which has so far only paid lip service to its threats.
Observers claim that the French President is using the dispute to appear tough ahead of next year’s presidential elections – where he is hoping to secure a second term.
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And so far at least, Downing Street has paid little attention to his threats.
This evening, a UK Government spokesman said: “France’s threats are disappointing and disproportionate, and not what we would expect from a close ally and partner.
“The measures being threatened do not appear to be compatible with the trade and cooperation agreement (TCA) and wider international law, and, if carried through, will be met with an appropriate and calibrated response.
“We will be relaying our concerns to the EU Commission and French government.”
What do you think about the French Government’s threats? Click here and share your views below.
Mr Beaune’s comments came after Ms Girardin issued the ultimatum for “guarantees” yesterday.
She tweeted:“#Brexit – This afternoon I spoke with the European Commissioner @VSinkevicius on the issue of fisheries licensing.
“My message is clear: we want guarantees from the British before the end of October. #IWantMyLicensesBack.”
Earlier she said: “France wants visibility for its fishermen.
“That is to say, I want answers before the end of the month.
“We will not accept after the end of this month, so in a week, the absence of answers on Jersey, on the six-12 miles…”
She is referring to the disputed fishing zones which lie between six and 12 miles off the British Isles and the Channel Islands.
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