Deadlock over fish as UK and France spar over Brexit deal By Reuters
© Reuters. Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson and French President Emmanuel Macron look on in entrance of the Trevi Fountain through the G20 summit in Rome, Italy, October 31, 2021. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane
By Elizabeth Piper and Michel Rose
ROME (Reuters) – Britain and France clashed once more in a post-Brexit fishing row on Sunday, with London denying it had shifted its place and Paris insisting it was now as much as Britain to resolve a dispute that might in the end damage commerce.
The 2 sides painted completely different footage of a gathering between Prime Minister Boris Johnson and President Emmanuel Macron on the sidelines of a Group of 20 summit in Rome.
Johnson mentioned Britain’s place was unchanged however added he had been “puzzled” to learn a letter from Paris to the European Union asking “for Britain to be punished for leaving the EU”.
“I do not imagine that’s appropriate both with the spirit or the letter of the Withdrawal Settlement of the Commerce and Cooperation Settlement and that is most likely all I am going to say about that,” he mentioned, referring to the Brexit divorce and commerce offers.
Macron, additionally talking at a post-summit information convention, mentioned he wished a deal. “I do not need escalation. We must be severe,” he mentioned in Rome. “I do not need to have to make use of retaliation measures, as a result of that would not assist our fishermen.”
Macron mentioned Paris had given proposals to London and “now the ball is in Britain’s court docket.”
London has referred to as on Paris to maneuver first.
The dispute was triggered when France accused Britain of issuing solely half the fishing licences it believes it’s entitled to.
London says it distributes licences to fish in its waters beneath the foundations supplied within the Brexit deal. The row intensified when the French detained a British scallop dredger this week.
Relations between Britain and France have turn out to be more and more strained since Britain voted to depart the EU in 2016. London’s lately struck safety pact with the US and Australia did little to construct belief with Paris.
The fishing concern dogged Brexit talks for years, not due to its financial significance however due to its political significance. If not resolved, it may set off the start of dispute measures within the Brexit commerce deal as quickly as this week.
After Johnson and Macron met on Sunday, a French official mentioned the leaders had agreed to attempt to de-escalate the row, which dangers distracting from Britain’s internet hosting of the United Nations COP26 local weather talks that begin this week in Glasgow.
However Johnson’s spokesman rejected the outline of the assembly.
Paris has mentioned it may impose focused measures from Tuesday, together with heightening some checks, if there is no such thing as a decision to the dispute.
A French official mentioned earlier on Sunday that the 2 sides would attempt to work out methods to de-escalate the state of affairs. “We’ll see on Nov. 2. We’re not there but,” the official mentioned.
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