France accuses the United Kingdom of not respecting its post-Brexit commitments to fishermen. Paris won the support of some of its European neighbors on Monday, October 11.
In the Franco-British standoff over fishing, ten European states are in solidarity with France and are asking for more licenses for European fishermen. Half of French ships, especially small ships, no longer have access to areas near the Channel Islands. Eleven EU countries demand a response from London as soon as possible. Paris no longer mentions retaliatory measures, but suggests that the option of retaliation is still on the table.
The original agreement provided for boats to still be able to fish in UK waters provided they prove they were sailing in those waters before Brexit. But London has toughened these conditions. Britain wanted to recover 80% of the European catch in its waters. In the end, it will be 25%, far too little for British fishermen.
In many ways, this battle suits London. This allows the head of government Boris Johnson to bulge his chest, play the card of national sovereignty. The fishermen, who voted 92% for Brexit, are still mostly in favor even if Brexit has made the administrative procedures more complex for them. They start to growl and regret their vote.