Paris [France]: France will impose the first sanctions against the UK on November 2 for non-compliance with an agreement on licenses for French fishermen, French government spokesman Gabriel Attal said on Wednesday.
Under the Brexit trade deal, which came into force on January 1, 2020, EU fishermen continue to have some rights to fish in UK waters as part of a transition period until 2026. “When the parties sign an agreement under Brexit, it must be respected. Our patience is running out. In such circumstances, we plan to announce a number of measures, some of which will come into force next Tuesday [on November 2]. Another package of measures may come into effect the week after because we want the agreement to be respected and our fishermen to be able to operate in accordance with the provisions that were negotiated under this agreement with Britain,” Attal said at a briefing following the meeting of the Cabinet.
In early October, French Prime Minister Jean Castex called on the European Commission to strictly oversee compliance with the obligations undertaken by the UK on the issue of granting licenses, and did not rule out a revision of bilateral cooperation with London in various areas in case of non-compliance with the agreements.
At the end of September, the British Ministry of the Environment reported that 1,700 vessels from the EU received licenses to fish in the UK waters, of which 117 were issued to vessels from the EU for fishing in a zone of 6-12 nautical miles. The ministry issued only 12 licenses to French fishermen, having considered 47 applications.