Brexit: Fishing row could be ‘getting ugly’ says Andy Mayer
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Brexit Minister, Lord Frost of Allenton, 56, took to social media to respond to threats made by French officials against the UK’s fishing industry yesterday. Lord Frost’s Twitter post, which was uploaded by the Cabinet Office Minister at 8.50pm, came during a period in which Anglo-French tensions have continued to worsen.
Clement Beaune, 40, Emmanuel Macron’s Secretary of State for European Affairs, had posted little over an hour before Lord Frost, stating Paris’ maritime minister, Annick Girardin, 57, would introduce “retaliatory measures” against Brexit Britain.
France has also confirmed it will tighten checks on UK vessels and could target energy supplies on the Channel Islands if no agreement can be reached by November 2.
The ex-Scotch Whiskey Association CEO said: “It is very disappointing that France has felt it necessary to make threats late this evening against the UK fishing industry and seemingly traders more broadly.
“We set out our position earlier this evening.”
Lord Frost attached to his post a copy of a comment issued by a UK Government spokesman.
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The Downing Street 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 Cooperation Agreement 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.”
She added: “The UK stands by its commitments in the TCA and has granted 98 percent of licence applications from EU vessels in fish in our waters.
“All our decisions have been fully in line with this commitment.
“We also support Jersey and Guernsey’s handling of fisheries licensing decisions, which has been entirely in line with the provisions of the TCA.”
Lord Frost, who had served as the UK’s Ambassador to Denmark from 2006 to 2008, reiterated how Brexit Britain would respond in a second tweet.
“As we have had no formal communication from the French Government on this matter we will be seeking urgent clarification of their plans,” he said.
“We will consider what further action is necessary in that light.”
This is not the first time France has threatened Brexit Britain over the so-called cod war.
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The UK was forced to respond to a French blockade of Jersey by sending two HMS navy patrol boats to the Channel Island in May.
The more recent threats come after the UK authorised just 12 out of 47 applications from French fishing ships to enter British waters.
Jersey then rubbed further salt into French wounds by refusing to accept an additional 75 bids from French boats.
When France started to issue threats towards Brexit Britain, Dominic Raab, 47, fired back at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester.
“What the French need to adjust to is the new reality we have left the EU,” the Brexit-backing Deputy Prime Minister said.
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