Now France Attacks Britain’s Energy Supply: A Second Threat Plan “In Preparation” By Beaune | Politics | New


France has been angered by the decision of the UK and Jersey last month to reject dozens of licenses allowing French boats to fish in their waters, arguing it violates the Brexit deal. In what the British government called “disproportionate”, Paris dramatically warned it would block British vessels from certain ports next week if the post-Brexit fishing license dispute was not resolved.

The French government has also suggested that it may restrict energy supplies to the Channel Islands if no deal is reached with the UK, as relations since the EU left have deteriorated further.

A joint statement by French ministers for Europe and Maritime Affairs added that they were not ruling out measures aimed at Britain’s energy supply in the coming weeks.

The No 10 said the threats did not appear compatible with “international law” and promised an “appropriate and calibrated response” if Paris does not back down.

If a licensing deal is not reached by Tuesday, France has said it will block British ships in some ports and tighten controls on ships traveling between France and the UK.

Brexit Minister Lord Frost said: “It is very disappointing that France has found it necessary to make threats late tonight against the UK fishing industry and apparently traders in general.

“As we have not received any official communication from the French government on this matter, we will urgently seek clarification of their plans. We will consider additional measures necessary in this light.”

A British government spokesperson added: “The threats from France are disappointing and disproportionate, and not what we would expect from a close ally and partner.

“The threatened measures do not appear to be consistent with the Trade and Cooperation Agreement and broader international law, and, if implemented, will be the subject of an appropriate and calibrated response.”

READ MORE: Lord Frost responds to French fishing threats against Britain from Brexit

She said Britain would voice its concerns to both the EU and the French government, and argued that the UK had granted 98% of European vessel license applications.

But the dispute continues over 31 vessels for which the UK has not approved licenses, arguing they had no evidence to support their claims.

France on Thursday seized a British trawler fishing in its territorial waters without a license and issued a verbal warning to a second vessel.

“It’s not war, but it’s a fight,” French Minister of the Sea Annick Girardin told RTL radio.

French European Affairs Minister Clément Beaune said France would now use the language of force, as that seemed to be all Britain understood.

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French maritime gendarmes carried out several checks on fishing vessels off the port of Le Havre in northern France overnight, the Ministry of Maritime said, as France stepped up its surveillance during negotiations.

The seized trawler, now under the control of the French judicial authorities, had been diverted to Le Havre under escort of the maritime police and moored at the quay in the port.

The captain of the ship could face criminal charges as his catch is confiscated, the ministry added.

Additional customs checks on goods traveling between Britain and the mainland via the Channel Tunnel and ferries could seriously disrupt trade flows just as businesses stock up for the holiday season .


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