France issues Brexit fishing ultimatum with UK given just six DAYS to cave in

Brexit: France hails Guernsey decision on fishing licences

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France’s minister for Europe has called on the European Union to take retaliatory measures against Britain if there is no resolution to the post-Brexit row over fishing licences by December 10.

The European Commission has said the dispute must be settled by that deadline as it upped the pressure on the UK in the negotiations.

Reiterating the imminent deadline in a threatening video message, Mr Beaune said on Saturday: “We had good news with Annick Girardin, the Minister for the Sea, this week, since a little more than 40 licenses have been confirmed by the island of Guernsey.

“And our fight continues, because we still need additional licenses, in the Channel Islands and in the Hauts-de-France.

“We will continue this discussion via the European Commission, with a very important meeting: December 10.

“As we have said, and the European Commission has said too, on December 10 we will see if the dialogue bears fruit and continues to issue licenses, finally, in additional numbers.

“Or if we are stuck, in which case we will have a European reaction, to move on to another phase, because the dialogue will not have borne fruit.

“Here it is clear, we are moving forward, we must rejoice in the good news, continue the fight, and always support our fishermen.”

France’s maritime minister Annick Girardin also warned of European retaliatory measures, telling the Ouest France newspaper on Tuesday that “London is testing the solidarity of the European Union” in the spat.

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The main source of contention is the number of licences to fish in waters around the British coastline for smaller French vessels that can prove they operated in those waters before Brexit.

France says Britain has not handed out enough licences to its fishermen, while the UK Government has insisted the overwhelming majority of applications for licences have been granted.

A UK Government spokesperson said: “We continue to have technical discussions with the European Commission and French authorities.

“Our approach to fisheries licences is evidence-based and completely in line with the Trade and Cooperation Agreement.

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“In total, we have licensed nearly 1,700 EU vessels to fish in our waters.

“Where vessels have provided the required evidence, we have issued licences and will continue to do so.”

Mr Beaune has accused the UK Government of being “obsessed with the European Union” and routinely blaming the bloc for its own problems.

The two countries have also been embroiled in a diplomatic row on migrants in the wake of dozens of people dying while attempting to cross the Channel to the UK last week.

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