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France's Beaune: fishing row with Britain still not resolved

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By Reuters
France's Beaune: fishing row with Britain still not resolved
France's Beaune: fishing row with Britain still not resolved   -   Copyright  Thomson Reuters 2021

PARIS -France has obtained 93% of the post-Brexit fishing licences it claims from Britain and will now ask the European Commission to put further pressure on London, French Minister for European Affairs Clement Beaune said on Friday.

Maritime Minister Annick Giradin said France was still missing 73 fishing licences to settle the conflict with Britain.

The ministers spoke to reporters after a meeting with fishing representatives and President Emmanuel Macron.

“The next step will be to ask the Commission in the coming days to convene the Partnership Council as provided for under the Brexit trade deal to settle a problem,” Beaune said.

“We will ask the Commission in the coming days to start litigation to obtain the licences we are entitled to,” he added.

Britain and the EU agreed to set up a licensing system to grant fishing vessels access to each other’s waters when Britain left the bloc. But France says it has not been given the full number it is due, while Britain says only those lacking the correct documentation have not been granted.

Fishing represents a tiny share of both the French and British economies, but it is politically sensitive.