In the post-Brexit dispute between Paris and London over fishing licenses, the two sides have agreed to further talks. As such, the dispute has been averted for the time being.
As France’s European Minister Clement Beain announced via Twitter on Monday evening, the punitive measures threatened by France should not go into effect as initially planned on Tuesday. Instead, they want to continue talks with London. Bunin said the British government had received early indications that talks could be expedited. On Thursday, Brexit minister David Frost is expected to hold in-depth exchanges in Paris. French President Emmanuel Macron had previously made a statement similar to that of Beaune.
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Frost was satisfied with Paris’ announcement that the threatening punitive measures would be put on hold for the time being. “Great Britain has clarified its position on these measures over the past few days,” a statement from the government in London said. He said he was open to in-depth discussions, including on the license issue, if new evidence could be presented. Frost awaits exchange with Beaune in Paris.
In particular, the controversy is about the denied licenses for French fishermen in the waters of the Channel Islands of Jersey and Guernsey. The islands are under the British Crown, but they are much closer to France than to Great Britain.
Paris accused London of not complying with the Brexit agreements and refusing to grant licenses to many French fishermen contrary to the agreement. London denies the allegations. These are about a dozen boats which have not been licensed due to missing documents.
If London does not agree, Paris threatened to close some ports to British fishermen and tighten controls on British boats and trucks from this Tuesday. London criticized the threatening sanctions as “proportionate and unfair”. In the event of an emergency, the British government has announced retaliatory measures. Foreign Minister Liz Truss, for example, invoked the dispute settlement mechanism agreed in the Brexit agreement to achieve “compensatory measures”. Frost also spoke of “vengeance”.
The controversy threatened to oversee a UN climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland. In addition, a dispute between Great Britain and the European Union over Brexit special rules for the British province of Northern Ireland is raging. (dpa)
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