Blame EU! Frexit calls as Macron urged to direct fury at bloc over fishing row

Brexit: French fisherman reveals plans for 'retaliation'

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The French President has been engaged in a diplomatic row with Britain over French boats’ post-Brexit fishing rights in UK waters. A French government spokesperson said this week France is preparing retaliation measures over the fishing row with the UK – which could be enforced as soon as next week.

But Generation Frexit leader Charles-Henri Gallois argued Macron’s efforts should be directed at the EU – as he defended the UK’s application of the Brexit trade deal with the bloc.

He told Express.co.uk: “Macron should blame the EU instead of the UK, the UK is just applying the deal.

“The deal stipulates that you should only be allowed to fish in UK waters if you had been fishing between 2012 and 2016. Lots of French fleets are below 12 metres and don’t have a recording system to prove that they were fishing during those years.

“Their views should have been taken into consideration by the EU during the negotiations.

“But also, the French fishermen face the same issues as the British ones because now that the European boats are banned from UK waters they are all fishing in French waters.

“And if France was outside the EU and French waters were only for French fishermen they wouldn’t have to go to the UK.

“There is simply not enough fish for everyone now in French waters.

“France outside the EU could have a much better deal with the UK because they have common interests in terms of fishing.

“Many fish are born on the French side and then go to the UK side so there are common interests that could be solved with a bilateral agreement between the UK and France if France left the EU.”

READ MORE: German industry boss issues Brexit ultimatum to Britain

France has been left furious at the number of licenses its fishermen have been granted by the UK to fish in British waters after Brexit.

Last month, the UK said it had approved just 12 of the 47 applications it had received from small boats in France.

Anger intensified when the Jersey Government said that, of 170 licence applications it had received from French boats, close to half (75) had been rejected.

Speaking from the port of Boulogne-sur-Mer, French fisherman Laurent Merlin said they are “in a constant state of anxiety and anger”.

In a huge warning to the UK, he told the BBC: “We are waiting until Friday, and then we’ll start to organise ourselves to attack.

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“We’ll create as much disruption as we can, by blocking the things Britain needs the most.

“We saw the impact of the gas shortage; we’ll try to create another shortage of something else.

“We’re ready to block everything: Calais, Dunkirk, the Channel Tunnel. We need this fishing licence and we’ll do anything to get it.”

Benoit Firmin, who is the manager of the local fishing committee in the region, warned that any blockade would likely target Christmas supplies and be wider than just the port in Boulogne.

He even took a swipe at the continued supply chain crisis sweeping throughout the UK, and said: “We haven’t even blocked yet and already there is a lack of food, petrol and staff.”

Mr Firmin added: “Are we going to make things worse? Maybe, but there’s a lot of frustration among the community, so fair enough.”

Earlier this month, French fishing industry representatives had already threatened to block the port of Calais and stop exports to the UK in the run-up to Christmas.

This came after French European minister Clement Beaune warned EU member states are preparing to announce measures to apply pressure on the UK to abide by the terms of the Brexit deal.

He raged: “We defend our interests. We do it nicely, and diplomatically, but when that doesn’t work, we take measures.

“For example, we can imagine, since we’re talking about energy, the United Kingdom depends on our energy supplies.

“It thinks that it can live all alone, and bash Europe.”

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