Fishing: French behaving in 'appalling manner' says Gardiner
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In what will come as a major blow to French officials, a fisherman said he will likely sell his boat because Britain “won’t let go”. And he isn’t the only one to announce plans to hang up the keys, with others realising that it is unlikely they will be given licences to fish in British waters.
Calais fisherman Loic Fontaine, quoted in MailOnline, said: “The English are stubborn, they won’t let go.”
“iI is better to stay friendly and to find a compromise,” he added.
“If we start a naval war, it won’t end.”
He said he will wait a couple of days before making a final decision, but he isn’t optimistic that France will pull through in the dispute with Britain.
35 licences have been granted to fishing boats in the Hauts-de-France region of northern France, according to Reuters.
But a further 45 boats, including Mr Fontaine’s, are still believed to be waiting.
Gaetan Delsart, another fisherman from northern France, was denied a licence because he lacked the approved tracking equipment on his boat to prove he fished in British waters prior to 2016.
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“I will hang up the keys in less than a year I think,” he told Reuters.
He is not optimistic that he would get a good price if he does decide to sell, asking: “Who would buy a boat without a licence?”
In a further sign that the row is coming to an end, French Transport Minister Jean-Baptiste Djebbari said today that Britain is showing a “constructive” spirit in talks with France.
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A European Commission spokesperson, quoted in the Guardian, added that talks between leaders of the two countries, as well as Jersey and the Commission, “have created a positive dynamic aiming at a solution”.
French President left the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow after just one day following a brief – and reportedly awkward – encounters with Boris Johnson.
The Prime Minister snubbed Mr Macron while at the conference, saying the dispute over fishing rights is “really vanishingly unimportant” compared to climate change.
The EU has made it reasonably clear that it is unwilling to come to France’s aid in this ongoing dispute.
One bloc official told MailOnline that Mr Macron is overplaying the row to win favour among French voters ahead of next year’s election.
Even if the fishing row is coming to an end, Britain and France’s relationship is likely to remain frosty over other aspects of the post-Brexit settlement.
French MP Bruno Bonnell recently warned the UK Government that fishing is just the “tip of the iceberg”.
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