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France is implementing a fishing blockade, threatens to cut of Channel islands power supply

France shows “no tolerance” to the United Kingdom, said French minister Clément Beaune (European affairs) in a talk show on Thursday morning. Since the night of Wednesday to Thursday, all French ports have been checked and no port is accessible to British fishing boats.

France is taking the measure in the context of the fishing war between the two countries which has been going on for some time. Fishing was one of the most controversial issues in the UK’s exit negotiations.

Countries such as Ireland, France and Spain wanted to protect employment in their coastal communities, while the UK was trying to regain control of its territorial waters.

This is why the UK denied most countries their fishing licences for British waters. According to France, however, this is contrary to the Brexit agreements. The agreement was that European fishermen would gradually have to surrender a quarter of their quota over a transitional period of 5.5 years.

The British Ministry, which deals with, among other things, fishing licences, previously granted 12 of the 47 licences requested by small French boats to fish in British waters. The other licences were refused because these boats could not prove enough that they had also fished in the waters in the past, according to the Department.

So France does not agree, and it is taking action now. Since the night of Wednesday to Thursday, British fishing boats are no longer welcome in France. Last night at least one boat was stopped, with the name Cornelis Gert Jan.

According to the British, this boat was licensed to fish in French waters. British Environment minister George Eustice reports that he has no idea why the French seized the ship.

“We carry out systematic checks in ports and security checks at sea for British ships,” said the French minister for European Affairs on Thursday morning. “We no longer show tolerance for the British.”Trucks going to or coming from the UK will also be checked.
‘This is not what we expect from an ally and partner’

The British are not happy with the action of France. “This is disappointing and disproportionate,” the British government responds. “We don’t expect this from an ally and partner.”Beaune said earlier that it is impossible to trust a “partner who does not respect the rules”.

With the measures, the French government wants to force more French fishermen to be licensed to fish in British waters. If nothing has changed by 2 november, France will take additional measures.

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