‘Not the Brexit we voted for!’ PM urged not to cave to French threats to sue over fishing

Brexit: Fishing industry was 'sacrificed' by government says Deas

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Accusing London of acting in bad faith and failing to honour the post-Brexit trade deal, Clement Beaune told France Ingo radio: “Boris Johnson told himself he could isolate the French. We have re-mobilised (the Europeans) so that the deal is respected.” Annick Girardin, France’s sea minister, announced the deadline during a hearing with a senatorial committee.

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She said: “If all the licences are not granted by tomorrow evening, France will request a meeting of the partnership council”, which is supposed to guarantee the application of the post-Brexit agreement, “to note the failure of the United Kingdom to respect its signature”.

“It is the Commission that will take the litigation and retaliatory measures if they must be applied,” she added.

France is planning to ask the EU to begin “litigation proceedings” since Downing Street said on Thursday it did not recognise the deadline. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesman told reporters: “We’ve never set a deadline. I recognise they (the EU) themselves have set one but it’s not one we’re working to.”

France said it was still waiting for Britain to approve nearly 100 licences for its fishermen to operate in UK territorial waters, and has claimed it will not stop fighting until every last one is secured, according to Reuters.

But in a poll of 10,032 Express.co.uk readers, held from December 7 to 10, a staggering 95 percent of voters said the Prime Minister should not cave on Macron’s demands and grant more fishing licenses to the French.

One Express reader nicknamed “Old sea dog”, said: “Make a stand now Boris, France and the rest of the EU will still be demanding full access to our waters in five year’s time.

“Let’s get it over with now, the UK has to make a stand against them and their never-ending demands.”

Ben Gazi agreed: “The UK needs to stick to its guns.”

The UK is reportedly considering issuing licenses for “replacement boats”, to ease tensions with the French.

Under the terms of the Brexit fishing deal, EU boats can have a licence if they can demonstrate four years of historical fishing activity in UK waters between 2012 and 2016.

Some skippers who have fished UK waters over that period have been denied licences because they own new boats, but are now likely to be issued licenses under the replacement boats agreement.

But Express.co.uk readers, alongside many political commentators, have warned against this plan.

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A user called “Quality Counts” wrote: “If he does grant more licenses the Tory Party and Boris are toast.”

Kat Moi added: “It would be right for Boris to ban all French fishing licences.”

A reader nicknamed “History-fun” asked: “What is the point?

“The French need to understand that over the next few years their access will be reduced year on year.”

Another reader going by “Surrey Beach Head” said: “Old spineless is going to fold again, perhaps Macron IS right, perhaps Boris is just a clown and set to make the UK a circus act.”

What’s your opinion? Let us know in the comments section below.

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