France has vowed not to ‘leave’ fishermen in the UK conflict

French President Emmanuel Macron announced on Friday that he would not “leave” fishermen seeking post-Brexit fishing permits on the Channel island of Jersey, escalating a war of words that could lead to a trade war.

“We will continue to fight, we will not abandon our fishermen,” Macron told reporters on his way to northern France.

“Today, they (the British) do not respect the” treaties, “I spoke openly to Boris” Johnson, Britain’s Prime Minister, insisted.

He called on the European Commission to intensify efforts to force Jersey, who relies on the British crown, to honor what France claims to be in line with the post-Brexit trade bloc.

“The committee should protect us. It should see this, but it is moving slowly, very weakly,” Macron said, adding that “if the Committee does not do its part, France will do it.”

“I refuse to return to the bilateral talks,” he added, “because this is not a question of France and the British, but a question of respect for your words.”

Macron pledged that France would respond to the issue “before Christmas”.

– ‘Quick story’ –

When asked to comment, an EU spokesman in Brussels acknowledged that despite progress on license applications, “the process is too slow.”

He added that the council had requested that “the project be expanded” as “urgently” as the first day of the trade agreement with the Brexit deal in December.

Paris has already threatened to ban British boats from unloading their French ports and monitor all British exports, which severely hampers trade.

Officials have also warned that the supply of electricity to Jersey, which depends on energy from France, could be reduced or costly.

At risk are the many permits that French fishermen are being asked to claim Jersey has set new requirements, including evidence that boats had been sailing on Jersey waters for years before Britain left the EU in January.

Many ships are struggling to keep up, and Jersey sings that it wants to get rid of them.

In addition to the remaining requests, Jersey issued temporary licenses while negotiations with France continue, but Paris insists that this should be permanent.

“In all, it includes 150 to 200 licenses. This is still our wish,” said French Minister for Europe Clement Beaune, adding: “We keep all the options on the table if negotiations do not bear fruit.”

– ‘Time to take action’ –

The comments came after French fishing officials were outraged by the idea of ​​wasting millions of euros to pay for the removal of boats that could no longer sail in Jersey waters.

The gift was seen as a preparation for war with Britain, especially since some EU countries are not silent on the fishery dispute.

“People are talking more about the Irish protocol (future Ireland / Northern Ireland border) than the fish question,” said Eric Maurice, a political analyst at the Robert Schuman Foundation in Brussels.

“Everyone recognizes in Brussels and in the member states that the big question is respect for Brexit’s relations with the British,” he said, “and everyone knows we are dealing with a friend who does not always respect his word.”

Paris hopes to resolve the fishing crisis in the next few weeks to take over the EU’s rotating leadership in January – when it should oversee all post-Brexit disputes.

Macron said he did not want to “make himself the head of the French president”

But representatives of the French fishermen, as well as officials from the coastal Channel, say that they are disappointed.

In May, several boats gathered at Jersey’s main port for a demonstration, prompting France and Britain to launch warships.

“The time has come for us to take action,” Jean-Luc Hall, head of the French fishing committee, told AFP.

“Fishermen are considering new collections in the coming days to protect their legitimate and legitimate interests,” his committee said.

vl-fz / js / jh / pvh / ach

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