France promises to continue to support fishermen as talks with the United Kingdom on fishing licenses are dragging on. According to a spokesman for the French government, aid is necessary as long as the licences are not clear. The French are dissatisfied because the United Kingdom grants few licenses allowing French fishermen to fish in British waters.
As the French minister for Sea affairs Annick Girardin said last week, France is working on additional support for fishermen who, due to the Brexit conflict, do not get a license and have to stop working. That comment caused quite a stir, because it seemed that the French government had accepted that not all the permits requested were granted.
President Emmanuel Macron said that France “will continue to fight” for French fishermen and will not abandon them. According to Paris, the British are not keeping to the agreements and that is the problem, a government spokesman said on Sunday on radio station Europe 1.
Fishing was one of the most controversial issues during the negotiations on the UK’s exit from the European Union. Countries such as Ireland, France and Spain wanted to protect employment in their coastal communities, while the United Kingdom was trying to regain control of its territorial waters.
This was particularly symbolic, because in economic terms, fishing is a relatively small sector in the United Kingdom.