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France disappointed with fishing talks with UK, more talks scheduled -Breaking


© Reuters. FILEPHOTO: French fishermen fix their nets in Boulogne,-sur-Mer, after Britain and Europe brokered a trade agreement. This was December 28, 2020, Northern France. Picture taken December 28, 2020. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

PARIS (Reuters – France has expressed disappointment at the slow pace of talks with Britain to settle a row over post-Brexit fishermen rights. However, negotiations are expected to resume on Monday according the head of a French fishing group.

He seemed to think that French fishermen are resolving to protest Britain’s decision not to give them more fishing licenses.

Olivier Lepretre (chairman of the Regional Maritime Fisheries Committee) in northern France stated this week that there were only a handful fishing licenses issued to French fishing vessels in British territory waters.

Although he considered this to be too cautious a way of solving the UK dispute, he stated that the European Commission, which is the EU executive would insist on continuing talks with Britain.

Lepretre explained that “technical work” will be continued over the next days at a steady rate.

French officials claim Britain is refusing to honor its post-Brexit trading agreement with EU. The national committee of marine fishermen (CNPMEM), however, stated that Annick Girardin, the maritime minister, had promised French fishermen that she wouldn’t give up on the fight for their licenses.

Lepretre expressed disappointment at the lack of technical progress made this week but said that there had been some improvement. “I see that the government doesn’t give up any inch.

The issue centers around the issuing of licenses for fishing within Britain’s territorial water six to 12 miles offshore its shores.

Paris protests London’s refusal of French fishing boat owners to obtain the required number of licenses.

Britain stated last month that it is open to discussion with those boats rejected and added that it hadn’t submitted any evidence about their past fishing operations in the area.

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