GB News host grills Bruno Bonnell on fishing rights row
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GB News host Alex Phillips clashed with French MP Bruno Bonnell as the pair discussed the ongoing row over fishing rights. The row has seen senior French ministers threaten to cut off supplies of Christmas turkeys unless more French fishermen are allowed to work in British waters. Ms Phillips accused French fishermen of struggling “to adapt to the new reality” of British control over its own waters.
She also shut down the French politician after he claimed that “the state of the shelves in the UK is a consequence of Brexit”.
Ms Phillips said: “When it came to leaving the EU, a big part of that as taking back control of our territorial waters.
“And that is what we have done, and we have been supplying French fishermen with licenses.
“Is this just not a case of French fishermen not wanting to adapt to the new reality?”
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Mr Bonnell responded: “If we start talking about fisheries, then people will talk about energy supplies.
“We have seen, on French television, the state of the shelves in the UK right now.
“That is a consequence of Brexit. It is not French fishermen trying to squeeze more out of this deal.”
Ms Phillips fired back: “Bruno, I’m going to correct you there.
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“There have been supply chain issues around the western world and a lot of that has to do with migrant workers going back to their home countries during the pandemic.
“There will be a handful of EU lorry drivers who left after Brexit and didn’t come back but that isn’t the cause actually of empty supermarket shelves.
“Similar scenes are happening places in Belgium.”
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On Friday, France’s European Affairs Minister Clement Beaune lashed out at Britain’s Brexit “failures”.
He vowed that France’s fishermen would not “pay the price” for the UK’s decision to leave the bloc.
Mr Beaune said: “They failed on Brexit. It was a bad choice. Threatening us, threatening our fishermen, will not settle their supply of turkey at Christmas.”
France was left enraged by the UK’s perceived refusal to grant what it considers the full number of licenses to French fishing boats to operate in Britain’s territorial waters.
Mr Beaune said that France had asked for 450 fishing licences but had only received 275.
Earlier this week a senior EU diplomat claimed France was ‘overplaying’ the row ahead of next year’s presidential election.
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