The EU AGRIFISH Council has expressed its solidarity with the French government over the issuing of UK fishing licences to their fleet

The EU AGRIFISH Council has expressed its solidarity with the French government over the issuing of UK fishing licences to their fleet

 The EU Council for Agriculture and Fisheries has expressed its solidarity with the French over the issuing by the UK of fishing licences for British and Crown Dependency waters.

At today’s press conference following the Agriculture and Fisheries Council (Fisheries) in Luxembourg, Jože PODGORŠEK, Slovenian Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Food reaffirmed that the AGRIFISH Council have expressed their support for the French and have

He said, “Yesterday, in the morning we also discussed the fishing opportunities and the consultations on fish stocks shared with the UK.

“Allow me to tell you what France said regarding French boats and the denial for fishing licenses by the UK authorities. I can only say that the Member States express full solidarity with France’s statement.”

The French government had pushed the EU for a declaration that criticises the UK for their approach to issuing French fishing vessels fishing licences for their waters.

The French say, that despite signing a trade deal that contained an agreement on fisheries, the UK has not fulfilled their part of the agreement by issuing their fleet with the required number of licences.

The lack of cooperation by the UK on the licensing issue has led to French threats to cut off or reduce the electricity supply to the Channel Islands, which depend wholly on the mainland of France for power. 

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The UK has made it a requirement that all EU-registered vessels show electronically or via a logbook. That they have a history of fishing in British waters. This is difficult for smaller vessels not required to carry AIS or a logbook. Although the Trade and Cooperation Agreement does not set out a precise criterion for licensing, the French believe that the UK is deliberately blocking their fishing boats from obtaining licences.

At the meeting of EU farming and fisheries ministers in Luxembourg on Monday, the French delegation pushed other countries to support a statement which criticised the UK response to the Jersey dispute and strongly suggested the UK is reneging what was agreed under the Brexit deal.

“We call on the United Kingdom to provide a response as soon as possible and to engage in further technical work in accordance with the spirit and the letter of the Agreement,” the final version of the statement said.

According to Politico, this final version shows that Belgium, Cyprus, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the Netherlands backed the French document. According to three EU diplomats, Denmark, Malta, Lithuania and Latvia also gave their support in the room when ministers discussed the statement Monday morning.

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EU Member States express solidarity with France over UK fishing licences

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