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France gives Britain until November 1 to grant more licenses to its fishing fleet or faces retaliation

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France heats fishing cold war, gives Britain until November 1 to grant more licenses to its fishing fleet or faces retaliation with threats to cut power cables across the canal

  • Paris Maritime Minister Annick Girardin told the EU the UK has until Nov
  • France has tacitly threatened to cut power to UK and Jersey
  • French boats were free to fish in the 6-12 mile zone when the UK was in the EU
  • Paris wants to keep access, but only got 40% of previous licenses










France has threatened to start a fire during the Cold Fisheries War, giving Britain less than a fortnight to allow its trawlers access to rich British waters or face punitive measures.

Paris maritime minister Annick Girardin has told the European Union that Boris Johnson’s government has until November 1 to reverse the tightening of access after Brexit.

France has tacitly threatened to limit power across the canal, as well as electricity for the Channel Islands, which have also restricted access to French boats.

French boats were free to fish in the six to 12 mile zone when the UK was in the EU, but now have to prove they did before. France says they must maintain the same level of access and accuses Britain of violating the Brexit trade deal.

Ms Giradin is said to have set the deadline during a meeting with Maros Sefcovic, the European Commission Vice-President leading post-Brexit trade talks, and Virginijus Sinkevicius, the Commissioner responsible for fisheries.

She told them she was “preparing measures with her colleagues from other ministries that France can implement from November 1, if necessary,” a source told the Telegraph.

France has tacitly threatened to limit power across the canal, as well as electricity for the Channel Islands, which have also restricted access to French boats.

Paris maritime minister Annick Girardin has told the European Union that Boris Johnson's government has until November 1 to reverse the tightening of access after Brexit.

Paris maritime minister Annick Girardin has told the European Union that Boris Johnson’s government has until November 1 to reverse the tightening of access after Brexit.

French boats were free to fish in the six to 12 mile zone when the UK was in the EU, but now have to prove they did before.

French boats were free to fish in the six to 12 mile zone when the UK was in the EU, but now have to prove they did before.

Paris was outraged when Jersey issued licenses to only 12 small French boats out of 47 applications this summer – saying they had failed to show they were entitled.

France also says it has applied for 450 fishing licenses for UK waters but has only been granted 275.

French boats were free to fish in the six to 12 mile zone when the UK was in the EU, but now have to prove they did before. France says they must maintain the same level of access and accuses Britain of violating the Brexit trade deal.

Over the weekend, French fishermen threatened a canal blockade after the EU refused to support Emmanuel Macron’s demand for tough action against the UK.

Last week, other EU member states poured cold water on Macron’s request to get them to accept immediate retaliation, instead agreeing to a watered-down statement calling for more “technical” work.

Diplomatic relations between the countries have recently bottomed out - with French ministers even threatening to cut off electricity supplies

Diplomatic relations between the countries have recently bottomed out – with French ministers even threatening to cut off electricity supplies

However, the French fleet is now warning that they are ready to take matters into their own hands.

Fishing rights have been one of the main battlegrounds between Britain and France in their post-Brexit negotiations, and Macron’s impending presidential election means he is under pressure to look tough.

Earlier this year, the licensing dispute led both France and Britain to send patrol vessels off the coast of Jersey, a self-governing British crown dependency.

Britain says the majority of ships were refused entry because they failed to show that they had fished in the six to 12 mile nautical zone in the years leading up to Britain’s referendum on leaving the EU.

Jersey’s foreign minister Ian Gorst said the island’s government had taken “a pragmatic, reasonable and fact-based approach” to the issue.

Diplomatic relations between the countries have recently reached an all-time low – with French ministers even threatening to cut off electricity supplies.

Last month, Boris Johnson told France it should line up “preenez un grip” and “donnez moi un break” over the AUKUS nuclear submarine deal that tore up a separate French contract.

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