Boris Johnson ‘sacrificed fishing industry’ says June Mummery
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Fishing was one of the main sticking points during negotiations and since the UK’s departure from the bloc. Earlier this month, French fishermen blocked a Channel port in protest against new UK bureaucracy.
The French seamen claimed their livelihoods were suffering as UK authorities were too slow to issue licences to fish in British waters.
Downing Street hit back and denied responsibility for the delays in issuing licences to the French fishermen and said the blockade was “unjustified”.
But now, the French President is facing a backlash as fishermen are “still waiting” for licences four months after Britain left the EU.
Xavier Bertrand, president of the regional council of Hauts-de-France, tweeted: “Four months after the Ministers visited Boulogne-sur-Mer, our fishermen are still waiting for their licenses to allow them to resume their activity!
“Licences must be issued urgently. If necessary, we are ready to go to Brussels!
“The government must quickly compensate those who have not obtained their license.
“They cannot wait six months from the time they apply as advertised!
“If we do not want to see them disappear, we must fight for our fishermen!”
Incumbent Secretary of State for European affairs, Clement Beaune added: “We spoke with professionals in the fishing sector and local elected officials.
“We must ensure the full implementation of the Brexit agreement.
“This is our commitment.”
MEP Nicolas Bay said he visited fishermen in the port of Dieppe and hit out at “brutal” decisions taken by Brussels.
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In a video posted on Twitter, Mr Bay said: “Today I am in Dieppe. I just met, here in the port, the fishermen.
“We talked about their work, their difficulties.
“They suffer from decisions taken often unilaterally and brutally by Brussels.
“It is worse today because of Brexit and its consequences.
“More than ever, the Normandy Regional Council must be on the side of our fishermen, which represents 24,000 direct and indirect jobs.”
During last year’s negotiations, Mr Macron took a hard line on fisheries and said France would not accept any “sacrifices to our fishermen”.
He rejected London’s demands for annual negotiations on fish quotas in British waters, claiming it would damage the EU industry.
Under the trade deal secured by Boris Johnson in December, the EU was allowed to keep 75 percent of the value of the fish it now catches in UK waters, with 25 percent being returned to British fishermen over the transition period.
From 2026, Britain will be able to cut quotas or exclude boats in a zone of 6-12 nautical miles.
Additional reporting by Maria Ortega
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