France believes that having threatened the United Kingdom with retaliatory measures for the contentious fishing licenses has served to bring the British to sit down to negotiate, discussions that will continue next week.
One day after the meeting in Paris of the heads of European Affairs of France, Clément Beaune, and the United Kingdom, David Frost, the French Secretary of State for Tourism, Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, has attributed these negotiations to “having hardened and threatened “, in statements to channel France 2.RELATED
In any case, Lemoyne has ruled out using tourism within the retaliatory device: “Tourism should not be influenced by geopolitics.” It has also excluded, for example, appeals to the French not to travel to the United Kingdom.
Since last week, the French Government had prepared a series of pressure measures that were initially due to come into force this Tuesday, starting with a ban on British fishing vessels from landing in French ports and a tightening of controls on imports from United Kingdom.
French President Emmanuel Macron decided on Monday night to paralyze the application of these reprisals to allow time for a negotiation between Beaune and Frost, who will meet again at the beginning of next week.
Lemoyne has reiterated his government’s arguments that France’s goal is for the British to “respect the word they gave” by signing the Brexit agreement in December 2020, which includes a chapter on fishing.
This chapter stipulates that European Union (EU) fishing vessels may continue to fish in waters under British jurisdiction, but on condition that they obtain licenses issued by the United Kingdom for which it is necessary to demonstrate that they have already fished in those areas previously.
The problem is that France considers that London is not complying and that it considers that there are some 200 licenses to which it estimates that its fishermen are entitled that have not been granted.
This Friday there is a new negotiation chapter in Brussels and under the auspices of the European Commission, something that France considers an advance of its position, since it wants to remove the dispute from a strictly bilateral framework and insists that the Brexit agreement was signed the British with the EU.
Beaune said this Thursday that he had not felt sufficiently supported by the EU in this pulse, although he acknowledged that the situation “has changed in recent days.”