Independence ‘final nail in the coffin’ for fishing says fisherman
When you subscribe we will use the information you provide to send you these newsletters. Sometimes they’ll include recommendations for other related newsletters or services we offer. Our Privacy Notice explains more about how we use your data, and your rights. You can unsubscribe at any time.
The fishermen in Boulogne-sur-Mer threatened to sink British businesses unless they are granted more generous deals by the UK. The group set up a barricade of wooden pallets and barrels and stopped two trucks transporting fish caught by UK boats on Thursday night. They also unfurled a banner that read: “You want to keep your waters??? OK…so, keep your fish!”
French union bosses have accused British officials of dragging their feet over granting French vessels special access to operate in our exclusive 6-12 nautical mile coastal zone around the UK. Trawlermen operating out of Boulogne say they’ve had to stop working because 80 per cent of the local fleet in the Hauts-de-France region have not been granted licences.
Bruno Margolle, head of Boulogne’s main fishermen’s cooperative, said: “We thought it would be a matter of days. Four months on, we’ve barely moved forwards.”
But their claims have been reputed by No10 aides, who denounced their blockade as “unjustified”.
The row is expected to escalate after allies of French President Emmanuel Macron demanded that Brussels takes “firm and determined action” unless his country’s fishermen are granted access to Britain’s coastal waters.
Europe minister Clement Beaune and Sea Minister Annick Girardin said: “We will act in a spirit of European solidarity and cooperation with Britain, but the urgency of the situation compels us to speed up efforts.”
UK officials blame the European Commission for the hold-up, insisting they have not received applications for smaller French boats seeking permission to fish in the zone.
A No10 spokesman said: “We do not recognise the figures that have been shared by the French fishing industry. We have issued licences to all vessels that have met the criteria and provided the relevant information.”
Britain has already approved 87 French vessels to operate in the 6-12 mile zone and 730 in the 12-200 zone.
Sources said many boat owners were struggling to secure permission because they were unable to meet demands for proof that they operated in UK fishing grounds in the five years running up to the 2016 referendum.
The European Commission said: “This is, indeed, an urgency and we have on our side no pending licence applications.”
Source: Read Full Article