Fisheries dispute with Great Britain: Macron refrains from punitive measures for the time being

Status: 01.11.2021 10:44 p.m.

In the fisheries dispute with Great Britain, France is initially waiving sanctions. President Macron said he was postponing the planned punitive measures against the British for a day. Both sides now want to advise.

In the dispute over fishing licenses, French President Emmanuel Macron stopped the entry into force of penalties against Great Britain at midnight. On the sidelines of the World Climate Conference in Glasgow, Macron referred to ongoing negotiations with the government in London. “We will not impose sanctions while we are negotiating.”

A few hours earlier, Macron’s office had confirmed that announced punitive measures should come into effect at midnight if no breakthrough had been achieved by then. “The next few hours are important hours,” said the President now. “I assume that the British will come to us with further proposals tomorrow”.

Paris announced strict controls

A spokeswoman for the EU Commission had previously confirmed that representatives from France, Great Britain and the Channel Islands of Jersey and Guernsey and the EU Commission should meet in Brussels for talks. According to Macron, these talks are to be continued on Tuesday. “We’ll see where we are at the end of the day tomorrow to see if things change in nature,” he added.

A French ultimatum to reach an agreement on the dispute over fishing licenses expires on Tuesday. Paris had threatened to close some ports to British fishermen and to tighten controls on British boats and trucks. France also put a restriction on the power supply for the Channel Islands belonging to Great Britain in the area. The islands are located off the French coast and rely on electricity from France.

British government ultimatum

“The French have to take these threats back, otherwise we will trigger the dispute settlement mechanism agreed in the Brexit treaty to demand compensation,” said Foreign Minister Liz Truss of the BBC. London will not turn around in the face of “inappropriate” threats from Paris. The problem must be resolved within the next 48 hours.

The dispute between the two states is about fishing rights after Brexit. Paris accuses London of penalizing French fishermen in allowing them to fish in British waters. French fishermen have not received the guaranteed licenses to cast their nets in British waters. According to British information, it concerns a few dozen French boats that have not received a fishing license because they could not prove the required documents.

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