UK to Summon French Envoy Amid Escalating Fishing Row
17:41 GMT 28.10.2021 (Updated: 18:32 GMT 28.10.2021)
© AP Photo / Gareth FullerA fishing boat at work in the English Channel, off the southern coast of England, Saturday Feb. 1, 2020. The fishing industry is predicted to be one of the main subjects for negotiations between the UK and Europe, after the UK left the European Union on Friday.
© AP Photo / Gareth Fuller
France earlier promised to impose sanctions against British ships and wares if London does not give in to Paris’ demands to issue more fishing licences. France believes the UK has issued 50% fewer licenses than it was supposed to.
A UK government spokesperson told the news outlet LBC that the French ambassador to the country would be summoned to the Foreign Office to discuss the latest fishing dispute between the two states.
"We regret the confrontational language that has been consistently used by the French government on this issue. As a next step, the Foreign Secretary has instructed Minister [for Europe and Americas Wendy] Morton to summon the French ambassador", the UK Prime Minister's Office said.
Earlier today, France announced that it had seized a British scallop dredger, escorting it to the Port of Le Havre after the vessel's crew allegedly failed to present proof they were allowed to fish in French waters. Another British boat was given a verbal warning.
The UK decried Paris' actions and warned France against taking further steps that London regards as retaliation amid the bitter fishing row between the two countries. Paris warned on 27 October that it might start taking steps against the UK over the latter allegedly failing to issue the number of fishing licenses allotted for French fishers.
27 October 2021, 12:06 GMT
However, France only spoke about "sanctions" such as extra border checks, bans on accessing French ports for the UK boats, and even some actions that would affect power supplies to Britain. Paris is yet to issue a full list of possible retaliatory steps amid the fishing row, but none of them is due to be applied before 1 November, according to France's Secretary of State for European Affairs Clément Beaune and government spokesman Gabriel Attal.
London, in its turn, insists that it granted 98% of all licence applications it had received from the EU on allowing fishing in British waters. It further slammed the proposed sanctions by Paris, stressing that they would violate the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) between the UK and the EU, as well as broader international law.