Saturday, May 18, 2024

Britain has summoned the French ambassador amid continuing tensions



Britain on Friday summoned the French ambassador in response to France’s decision to impose sanctions on the United Kingdom in the wake of the crisis over maritime fishing rights and European fishermen’s licenses. On Wednesday, Paris announced it would block British fishing boats from unloading their cargo in French ports and tighten tariffs on trucks.

Intensification between France and Britain continues in the wake of the dispute Marine fishing license, Despite calls for peace.

On Friday, London announced the recall of the French ambassador in response to Paris’ announcement of “retaliatory measures” following allegations that the UK had granted too few licenses to European fishermen.

British Foreign Secretary Lis Truss has ordered European Secretary of State Wendy Morton to “summon the French ambassador” after considering that France intends to take “unjust” action, a British government spokeswoman said in a statement on Thursday. We reiterate that the government has agreed to 98 per cent, and as we have already made clear, we see all the evidence for the rest, while France says the figure is 90 per cent.

Disappointment on Jersey Island

For its part, the government of the island of Jersey under British sovereignty expressed “great disappointment” at the measures announced by Paris on Wednesday, which will take effect on November 2. The island announced the issuance of about twenty new licenses to French boats, most of which were temporary.

France has announced it will block British fishing boats from unloading their cargo in French ports and tighten tariffs on lorries unless French fishermen get more licenses to fish in British waters.

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On the other hand, British Environment Minister Jorge Eustace called for “peace” and a “slowdown”, insisting that the door to his government was “open”, while French Prime Minister Jean Causticus expressed his “rhetoric”. Respects “its obligations”.

But London considered the announced French measures “disproportionate” and warned that they would be subject to a “proportional and measured response”. On Thursday morning, French Foreign Minister Clement Bonn said in London that London “only understands the language of the army”, while Maritime Minister Annie Girard spoke of a “war” to force Britain to respect its obligations.

What is the text of the post-Brexit agreement?

The post-Brexit agreement between London and Brussels, which ended at the end of 2020, stipulated that European fishermen could continue to work in certain parts of the British Ocean under certain conditions. In more competitive areas, London and Jersey have issued more than 210 final licenses to Paris, demanding an additional 200 licenses.

The strengthening of French authorities’ control over British vessels seems to have begun with the imposition of night fines on two fishing vessels, although the ministry explained that these were normal seasonal inspection procedures. The ministry said one ship had “not met the licensing terms issued in the UK” by the European Commission and France, and returned to the port of Le Havre.

The owner of the evacuated Scottish ship denounced it as “misunderstanding” and “political maneuvering”. He faces a fine of 75,000 euros and administrative fines, the Public Prosecution Office announced on Thursday. On the French side of Cranville Bay, fishermen, by contrast, felt that these restrictions were too late. Fisherman Pascal Delacour, 52, since Brexit, said, “There is no censorship from the French side, but I get checked once a month when I go to Jersey.”

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Barry Dees of the union, which represents British fishermen, said the “eye for an eye, tooth for tooth” strategy did nothing. He pointed out that while there are large numbers of French fishermen in British waters, some ships dock in French ports, as he told the BBC, stressing that this increase would not be in the interest of the French, especially wholesalers. They buy fish in bulk and prepare it for distribution. They relied heavily on British products, and on Thursday opposed any move to lose these products, “no matter how small”.

French ship study

In the same context, a British minister said his country could order further French vessels to inspect in retaliation for France’s detention of a British fishing vessel off French territorial waters.

“We always have the option to increase our operations on French ships and to board many of what they do on our ships,” British Environment Minister George Eustis told BBC Television.

“(French) ships have other administrative things we can ask for. This is something we do not want to go on,” he added. French officials say the ship (Cornelis Geert Jean) was taken to the northern port of Le Havre because its crew did not provide proof of fishing in French waters. Eustace said London’s focus at the moment was on trying to resolve the issue with the European Commission and the French ambassador in London. “Of course we have the ability to respond proportionally,” he added.

France 24 / AFP / Reuters

Rolf Colon
Rolf Colon
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