Post-Brexit fishing licenses: France wants a solution by November 1 with Jersey

France wants a solution by November 1 on the post-Brexit fishing licenses granted by the Channel Island of Jersey. The deadline remains “obligatorily on November 1st, since at the end of October, it is the last limit for Jersey to give its answers to the requests for licenses” French fishermen, who have until that date to provide it with the required documents, declared the Minister of the Sea, Annick Girardin.

“We are two weeks away from this decision [de Jersey]. Nothing has been ruled out today, neither by France nor by the European Commission “, who is negotiating on behalf of Paris with London, underlined the minister from Brussels, following an interview with the Vice-President of the European Commission, Maros Sefcovic, and the Commissioner in charge of Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevicius.

The French Secretary of State for European Affairs, Clément Beaune, had indicated on Wednesday that France would take measures to “replica”, even of “retaliation”, “in about eight days” if Jersey did not grant more licenses to French fishermen. In particular, it threatens to reduce its electricity deliveries to the island and to target its key financial services sector. “The Commission must list the retaliatory measures provided for in the agreement [commercial post-Brexit]. It is obvious that if the Commission does not act, if the United Kingdom and Jersey do not meet confidence, we will have to be able to act on our own “, warned Annick Girardin.

The post-Brexit agreement, concluded in extremis at the end of 2020 between London and Brussels, provides that European fishermen can continue to work in certain British waters on condition of obtaining a license, granted if they can prove that they fished there before. But the French and the British argue over the nature and extent of the supporting documents to be provided. In still disputed fishing areas, London and Jersey have thus granted a total of just over 200 definitive licenses, while Paris is still asking for more. more than 230, including a hundred in Jersey and nearly sixty for the neighboring island of Guernsey.

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The local government of Jersey, responsible for its fishing areas, announced on Friday that it had granted two additional licenses to French fishermen, while calling for calm and judging the threats from Paris “disproportionate”. The Minister of the Sea is due to meet officials of the island in Paris on Monday.

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