France Postpones Sanctions On UK Fishing Vessels

The French government has decided to postpone imposing sanctions against the UK over the fishing conflict until at least Thursday, 4 November. On that day, French Minister for European Affairs Clément Beaune and British Minister for Brexit David Frost will meet in Paris to discuss options to resolve the conflict situation, Le Figaro reported.

French President Emmanuel Macron and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who arrived for the G20 summit in Glasgow, discussed the fishing conflict on November 1. Following the meeting between the two leaders, France lifted the arrest of the British trawler detained last week. And Jersey Island authorities issued an additional 49 temporary fishing licences to French fishing vessels.

The conflict between London and Paris over fishing has been ongoing since the spring. It began after agreements in this area were changed amid Britain’s exit from the EU. France then threatened to cut off the supply of electricity through a submarine cable to the island of Jersey, which is a British crown territory.

At the end of September British authorities granted only 12 French fishing vessels a licence to fish in UK coastal waters, while 47 vessels had applied for the licence. The French authorities accused London of « political gamesmanship ». This was a new escalation of the so-called fishing conflict between France and the UK, which arose after agreements in this area were changed because of Brexit.

Tensions between the countries escalated ahead of the G20 summit over London’s threats to impose « strict controls » on European ships in British waters. France responded today, 2 November, by promising to impose sanctions against the UK.


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