The United Kingdom has granted 23 new licences to French fishermen. On Friday evening 18 permits were granted and the island of Jersey issued five more on Saturday.
France had set a deadline for Friday: it wanted to reach an agreement with the British before that time. The granting of new licences is part of an agreement that the British reached with the European Union. The French said earlier that they wanted about a hundred more permits.
“This decision is an important step in a long process towards the full implementation of the trade agreement”, said the European Commission to agree to.
The United Kingdom states that the licensed fishing vessels have shown that they are entitled to it. The country was not impressed by the pressure exerted by France and the EU. “This is a technical process based on facts and not deadlines. Despite its own deadline, the EU continued to send new information to Jersey.”
France and the United Kingdom have been at odds for weeks over fishing licences. According to France and French fishermen, the British government has issued far fewer permits than the fishermen are entitled to. This means that many fishermen are not allowed to fish in British waters.
The British said that they had granted a licence to all European fishermen who were already fishing in British waters before Brexit. The conflict escalated a few weeks ago when France seized a British trawler because it would not have the proper licence.