Macron is trying to 'save his skin in France' says Andrew Bolt
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In October, France detained one British fishing boat off of Normandy for not having a licence, while fining another. However, while Emmanuel Macron and his Government push for British concessions, others in France said they sympathise with the UK.
Charles-Henri Gallois, president of Génération Frexit, said the UK is acting “within its rights” over the fishing licence row.
He added: “We often hear from the French government that it is not normal, that the licences are not approved, but the British are only applying the agreement.
“This is an agreement that is never talked about, but let me remind you that negotiations were led by the EU, not by France, so the agreement says that fishing boats must prove they have fished in British waters in the past.
“The problem is that the French fleet has a lot of small boats that don’t have a registration system, so these boats can’t prove that they were fishing in British waters in the past.”
Speaking to Radio Courtoisie, Mr Gallois continued to say the UK applies the post-Brexit agreement “strictly”.
He added: “That’s why French fishermen are struggling more than fishermen from other EU countries, but this is something we already knew.”
Nicolas Meizonnet, member of the National Rally, also said on Twitter: “French fishermen must be saved!
“They are suffering the economic consequences of the crisis and a tougher EU regulation; within the framework of the recovery plan, I asked the minister to help artisanal fishing professionals!”
In a video, Mr Meizonnet said it “is no secret that the dispute over fishing licences between France and the UK has not yet been resolved”, despite crunch meetings between Lord Frost and Clément Beaune.
The NR member added: “Meanwhile, French fishermen are suffering. It goes without saying that the Covid-19 crisis has not improved the situation.
“Due to lockdowns and the closure of restaurants, the fishing industry has suffered an overall drop in production of 10% in 2020.
“Added to this, we find disastrous European regulations such as the ‘West Med’ plan, which reduce the number of days at sea and weaken the turnover of small businesses, those that practice artisanal fishing, some of which find themselves below the profitability threshold, whereas these same standards are less restrictive for businesses that practice industrial fishing.
“With all of this, the small fishermen, the small trawlers, are dying.”
The dispute between the UK and France centres on access for small boats of under 12 metres wishing to fish in the UK six-to-12 nautical mile zone.
France has claimed the post-Brexit Withdrawal Agreement gives its fishermen the right to 175 licences to work between six and 12 nautical miles off the coast of mainland Britain.
The French Government also says it has the right to 216 licences to fish off the coast of Jersey, but that it has only been given 105.
The UK has only handed out 103 in 2021, however officials in London say they have granted 98 percent of licences.
On Thursday, Lord Frost outlined the UK’s “position and concerns”, after speaking to France’s European minister.
A Downing Street spokesperson said: “Lord Frost and Europe Minister Clément Beaune met in Paris this morning.
“As foreshadowed, they discussed the range of difficulties arising from the application of the agreements between the UK and the EU. Both sides set out their positions and concerns.
“Lord Frost will meet European Commission Vice President Maroš Šefčovič in Brussels tomorrow. Lord Frost and Minister Beaune expect to speak again early next week.”
Additional reporting from Maria Ortega
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