HGV shortages: Jeremy Vine says 'Brexit is working'
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The comment was made by Florian Philippot, president of the French party ‘The Patriots’, who is campaigning for France to leave the EU. Tensions rose after the UK only granted 12 out of 47 fishing applications for small French boats, under 12 meters in length.
Annick Girardin, the French maritime minister, accused Britain of taking French fishing “hostage” for “political ends”.
However, Mr Philippot, formerly from Marine le Pen’s far-right Front National, disagreed.
He tweeted: “France blames UK on fisheries: so naive!
“That’s the difference between a country that has become sovereign again and France, a province of the EU, obliged to complain to Brussels and Germany hoping to be able to fight back!”
Last week Clément Beaune, the French Europe minister, accused the UK of “unsportsmanlike” behaviour over fishing licences.
He said: “We are at the end of our patience. We are continuing our fight.”
Boris Johnson’s new Brexit trade deal agreed in December, included new fishing arrangements.
The UK agreed EU boats will continue fishing in British waters until at least the end of 2026.
From this point, they could theoretically be excluded, but this would risk retaliatory actions from Brussels.
In the years to 2027, 25 percent of EU boats fishing rights will be transferred to UK vessels.
On Wednesday the government of Jersey unveiled a list of French vessels that will be allowed to operate in its waters.
To do so a fishing ship must prove it has been operating off Jersey for a substantial period of time.
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In total 111 French fishing vessels have been given extended rights to fish in Jersey waters.
Another 31 received a provisional licence until the end of January 2022, by which point they must provide additional documentation.
However, 75 French boats had their applications turned down by Jersey authorities.
They will have to stop fishing in its waters within 30 days.
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Ian Gorst, Jersey’s minister for external affairs, commented: “Jersey has maintained a pragmatic, reasonable and evidence-based approach, extending the transition period on a number of occasions when the trade treaty did not require it.
However, speaking to Ouest France, Pascal Leclerc, president of the Ille-et-Vilaine fishing committee, was less impressed.
He said: “As it is, some boats will not be left at the quayside, but on the pavement.”
The Normandy Fisheries Committee argued Jersey authorities had made some mistakes.
In a statement they said: “At last Jersey is showing clarity and notifying fishermen of their licences.
“Moreover, they are introducing a thirty days’ notice, which allows the fishing companies to turn around.
“They have made mistakes, but today they are choosing to discuss the conditions of licences and the question of replacement vessels. However, the situation is not satisfactory.”
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