Until recently, deep-sea fishing was a controversial point in Brexit negotiations – and the conflict has not ended until today. French fishermen are currently very angry about access to British waters. French media reported that more than a hundred fish-laden fishermen from Great Britain stopped trucks in Bologne-sur-Mer on Thursday evening. The protest is mainly directed against the slow issue of fishing licenses in London. Boulogne is the main fishing port in France.
“They have been waiting for the proposed license since January 1. These should be released now, and fishermen who are unable to work should be compensated, «National Council President Xavier Bertrand tweeted after meeting with several fishermen. According to the French news agency AFP, the chairman of the regional fisheries committee, Olivier Leprette, threatened to shift gears if nothing happened at the European level.
Request to the European Union Commission
Earlier, France’s sea minister, Enrique Girardin, and Europe’s secretary of state, Clement Buen, had been involved in the dispute. “Full grant of access to British waters and rapid resolution of essential issues … must be ensured as soon as possible,” the statement said. In this they call on the European Union Commission to act decisively to ensure full application of the fisheries agreement with Great Britain.
After the British left the EU, there was a complex dispute over total catches and their distribution. At various times, negotiations on the Brexit trade agreement threatened to fail due to the issue of fish. In December, European Union countries agreed to a temporary fishing quota by the end of July. But even from the British side, thousands of fishermen are fighting for their livelihood. On Friday, the European Union Commission granted one hundred million euros in government support for fishing companies in France. In particular, it is an aid to fixed costs due to ships that do not leave the port and compensation for lost income.