Blog: Brexit fishing row explodes as France threatens ‘brutal retaliation’ against UK – Express

The UK has secured a trade deal with the , resulting in changes to the fishing quotas enjoyed by European vessels in British waters. The deal ensures that 25 percent of EU boats’ fishing rights in UK waters will be transferred to the British fleet over a period of five years. After that, annual negotiations will decide how the catch is shared out between the UK and EU, and Britain would have the right to completely exclude EU boats after 2026. Despite the promise of more control over fishing waters, many fishermen in the UK have raged at the current state of affairs as many struggle to sell their stock in Europe.

But there is also anger in France, as the country’s Europe minister Clement Beaune hit out at the UK’s post- fishing arrangements.

He said there would be “retaliation measures” taken if the UK does not “deliver licenses [and] authorisation to access their waters for fishing”.

Mr Beaune, a key ally of President Emmanuel Macron, even said that the City of London could be targeted if the fishing dispute isn’t resolved, City AM reported.

He said: “We will give none – it is quid pro quo.

“The UK is expecting a number of authorisations from us on financial services. We will not give any until we have guarantees that, on fisheries and other issues, the UK respects its commitments.

“It’s give and take. It is necessary that each one respects its commitments, otherwise, we will be as brutal and difficult as necessary as partners.”

French fishermen were accused of “decimating” the Jersey coastline earlier this month as uncertainty looms over access to the Channel Island’s waters.

The Brexit trade deal gives Jersey the sole power over licences for all boats, but French vessels with historical fishing activity in Jersey waters will continue to have access and could still outnumber Jersey boats.

This arrangement replaced the Bay of Granville Treaty – an accord that was not popular with some in Jersey as it allowed French authorities to license their own boats to fish in the island’s waters.

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The amnesty has now ended, meaning any vessel not from Jersey must prove their historical operation within the island’s waters and get a permanent licence to continue fishing there.

As for the City of London, the UK is looking to keep access to EU markets.

But Brussels believes the UK is destined to diverge from its financial services regulations and has therefore refused to grant London full equivalence.

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Some groups, such as new City lobby group CityUnited, has called for the government to ditch concerns about equivalence and to instead pivot toward other overseas financial markets.

Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey recently said equivalence was the best-case scenario for the financial services sector, but that it wouldn’t be worth it if the UK had to be a regulatory rule-taker.

Mr Bailey said the UK must not become a mere “taker” of EU rules adding: “If the price of this is too high then we can’t just go for it whatever.”

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