France has threatened “reprisals” against the UK if ministers refuse to grant greater access to British waters for French fishermen.
France’s Europe Minister warned his country would be a “brutal and difficult partner” until the UK ceded more of its fishing rights. French fishermen claim Downing Street has failed to stick to the Brexit deal agreed last year by shutting them out of British coastal waters. However officials in the UK deny any breach of the agreement and say they are handing out fishing licenses in line with the European Commission.
Trawlermen on the continent blockaded the port at Boulogne and stopped British lorries last week in protest to the Brexit deal, which sees the UK regain control of some of its fishing waters from European boats. French ministers have threatened to withhold access for UK banks to operate in Europe if Boris Johnson failed to make concessions on fishing.
French President Emmanuel Macron is facing a tough re-election campaign due to be held next year, and is under pressure from fishermen to keep access to British waters.
The news comes as MEPs vote to ratify the Brexit deal between Britain and the EU. Some in the European Parliament had threatened to block the deal if MEPs did not receive greater say over how disputes are policed between the two sides. However these threats are unlikely to come to pass after both major blocs in the Parliament pledged to vote for the accord.
The news comes after European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen fired a warning shot at Downing Street over the deal, saying if the UK failed to live up to the agreed terms there would be consequences.
Since Britain left the so-called transition period with the EU at the start of the year relations between the UK and Brussels have been damaged by a series of rows, particularly over Northern Ireland and vaccines.
Steven Edginton, The Sun
Read more: France threatens ‘reprisals’ in Brexit fishing row as EU boss vows to punish Britain for any breaches of trade deal - www.thesun.co.uk/news/14776706/france-reprisals-brexit-fishing-row-eu-trade-deal/
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