Britain-France hold talks to ease tensions over fishing row

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However, French President Emmanuel Macron subsequently ruled out these retaliatory measures, saying: “It is not while we are negotiating that we will impose sanctions.”…reports Asian Lite News.

Britain’s Brexit Minister David Frost and French Secretary of State for European Affairs Clement Beaune held talks in Paris to try to ease tensions over a fishing row between the two countries.

However, Beaune said afterwards that a lot of work remains to be done, since significant differences remain.

According to French media, the main sticking point during Thursday’s talks was the interpretation of the post-Brexit agreement on fishing. France has accused the UK of imposing tougher requirements for issuing fishing permits.

Last week, the French Ministry of the Sea retaliated by announcing that from Tuesday, British fishing vessels will be banned from docking in six French ports in Hauts-de-France, Normandy and Brittany. It also said France would strengthen sanitary, customs and safety checks on British ships and lorries.

However, French President Emmanuel Macron subsequently ruled out these retaliatory measures, saying: “It is not while we are negotiating that we will impose sanctions.”

A spokesperson for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the press on Thursday that the French had agreed not to “proceed with these threats.”

“Both sides are keen to have further discussions,” he added.

According to Beaune, further talks will be held early next week.

Yesterday, UK welcomed the French government’s announcement that it will not go ahead with implementing sanction measures over an ongoing fishing dispute, a government spokesperson said here.

“As we have said consistently, we are ready to continue intensive discussions on fisheries, including considering any new evidence to support the remaining license applications,” Xinhua news agency quoted the spokesperson as saying in a statement.

France President Emmanuel Macron (Number 10 Flickr)

French President Emmanuel Macron, who earlier on Monday met British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on the sidelines of the UN climate conference in Glasgow, told reporters that the French plan was on hold pending the outcome of renewed talks.

France seized a British trawler and gave a warning to another boat on October 28, following threats of retaliatory measures against the UK’s fishing industry and other trade, including preventing British fishing boats from disembarking at ports, increasing border and sanitary checks on British goods.

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