French trawler owners still in dark over UK-French fishing

Nov 2, 2021, 1:55 AM | Updated: 11:05 am
FILE - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, left, greets French President Emmanuel Macron as he ar...

FILE - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, left, greets French President Emmanuel Macron as he arrives at the COP26 U.N. Climate Summit in Glasgow, Scotland, Monday, Nov. 1, 2021. France has threatened to bar British boats from some of its ports and tighten checks on boats and trucks carrying British goods if more French vessels aren't licensed to fish in U.K. waters by Tuesday. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant, File)

(AP Photo/Alastair Grant, File)

GRANVILLE, France (AP) — French trawler owners in Normandy have reacted with confusion and consternation after President Emmanuel Macron extended a Tuesday deadline for the British government to license more French fishing vessels, the subject of a post-Brexit spat between the two countries.

Macron said Britain now has until at least Thursday, to authorize more French boats to fish in U.K. waters or face consequences. France has threatened to bar British boats from some of its ports and to tighten checks on vessels and trucks carrying British goods if no solution is found.

“We don’t know what to expect. We learn new things every day,” trawler owner Samuel Deshayes told The Associated Press in Granville, a coastal commune in Normandy not far from the British island of Jersey in the English Channel. “We will not give up until everyone has obtained a license.”

Fishing is a tiny industry economically for both countries but with outsized diplomatic importance, and the dispute is an important test for Britain’s relations with the European Union after the U.K.’s withdrawal from the EU.

Fishing also looms large symbolically for both Britain and France, which have long and cherished maritime traditions. Since the start of the year, both sides have control of their waters, subject to the Brexit trade deal the U.K. signed when it left the European Union. The French and British governments accuse each other of contravening the trade deal.

While preparing at 4 a.m. to head out from Granville to trawl for scallops and sea snails, fisherman Jimmy Montreuil said he feels “in the dark” about how long he’ll be able to fish freely. The area is also rich with lobster, sea bream and other fish.

Many French fishermen are pointing fingers at the Channel Islands, including Jersey and Guernsey, which are self-governing British crown dependencies that crucially have control over their own territorial waters.

France has said that Jersey, which is only 14 miles (about 22 kilometers) off the coast of France, hasn’t issued enough licenses to French vessels and suggested it might restrict energy supplies to the Channel Islands, which are heavily dependent on French electricity..

“Jersey — I don’t know why they are causing problems. Even the English don’t quite understand why Jersey is resisting,” Deshayes said.

The government of Jersey has reacted by issuing 49 temporary licenses to French boats this week. It said the vessels will be able to fish in Jersey waters until Jan. 31 to “grant time” for further data that is necessary for it to issue permanent licenses.

Emmanuel Lecoufle, owner of French trawler Arc en Ciel in Granville, said that the new permits are “not enough. There are still 200 boats pending. It is nothing at all, 49 licenses,” he said.

Meanwhile, the French trawler owners who were granted extended licenses said they still don’t understand what will happen next.

Macron’s office said Monday that talks would continue this week and no measures would be taken before a Thursday meeting.

An official with the French presidency said Tuesday that discussions “are advancing” and that France hopes to “move forward” from the fishing dispute to focus on bigger issues, such as climate change.

“Neither us nor the British want this to go badly,” said the official, who was not authorized to be publicly named.

The British government has said throughout the dispute that it isn’t engaged in a negotiation and it is entirely up to France to end the conflict.

The government in London welcomed Macron’s decision to extend the deadline and said a meeting in Paris on Thursday between Britain’s Brexit minister, David Frost, and French Europe Minister Clement Beaune would cover a range of issues — not just fishing.

“We’ve always said we want to deescalate this and always said we have an ever-open door to discuss any further evidence France or the EU might have on any additional vessels they’d like to have licensed,” British environment minister George Eustice told Sky News.

Eustice said it appears that a British scallop dredger — the Cornelis Gert Jan — that French authorities impounded last month has been released.

___

Thomas Adamson in Paris and Pan Pylas in London contributed to this report.

___

Follow AP’s Brexit coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/brexit

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

LAPD officer who died was beaten in training, mother claims

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Los Angeles police officer who died of neck injuries suffered during training had been beaten by fellow officers in an exercise meant to “simulate a mob,” according to a wrongful-death claim filed against the city by his mother. Houston Tipping, 32, was hurt May 26 at the police academy and […]
13 hours ago
Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives for the Leaders' Retreat on the sidelines of the Com...
Associated Press

Trudeau: US abortion ruling could mean loss of other rights

TORONTO (AP) — Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Saturday the U.S. Supreme Court decision to overturn a constitutional right to abortion is a worrying setback that could lead to the removal of other rights Americans have. Trudeau called the court’s decision “horrific” and voiced concern that the ruling could someday allow a rollback of […]
13 hours ago
FILE - Tara Sweeney, a Republican seeking the sole U.S. House seat in Alaska, speaks during a forum...
Associated Press

Alaska Supreme Court ruling keeps Sweeney off House ballot

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The Alaska Supreme Court on Saturday upheld a lower court’s ruling that will keep Republican Tara Sweeney off the ballot for the August special election in Alaska’s U.S. House race. In a brief written order, the high court said it affirmed the decision of Superior Court Judge William Morse, who agreed […]
13 hours ago
FILE - Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez gestures during news conference at the Presidential Pal...
Associated Press

Spain unveils emergency actions to curb soaring living costs

MADRID (AP) — The Spanish government has approved a package of emergency economic measures worth more than 9 billion euros ($9.5 billion) to try to temper the economic fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said Saturday. “This war, and its economic and social consequences, have produced an extraordinary uncertainty when it […]
13 hours ago
Associated Press

Officer suspended for off-duty actions at abortion protest

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A Rhode Island police officer accused of punching a woman at an abortion protest while he was off-duty was suspended from his job with pay Saturday while the Providence Police Department conducts a criminal investigation into his actions. Jennifer Rourke, Rhode Island Political Cooperative Chairwoman and a state Senate candidate, told […]
13 hours ago
FILE - Local residents navigate the Amazon River near Leticia, Colombia, Sept. 7, 2019. Gustavo Pet...
Associated Press

New Colombian president pledges to protect rainforest

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Gustavo Petro, Colombia’s first elected leftist president, will take office in August with ambitious proposals to halt the record-high rates of deforestation in the Amazon rainforest. Petro has promised to limit agribusiness expansion into the forest, and create reserves where Indigenous communities and others are allowed to harvest rubber, acai […]
13 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Update your child’s vaccines before kindergarten

So, your little one starts kindergarten soon. How exciting! You still have a few months before the school year starts, so now’s the time to make sure students-to-be have the vaccines needed to stay safe as they head into a new chapter of life.
...
Christina O’Haver

BE FAST to spot a stroke

Every 40 seconds—that’s how often someone has a stroke in the United States. It’s the fifth leading cause of death among Americans, with someone dying of a stroke every 3.5 minutes.
...
Arizona Division of Problem Gambling

Arizona Division of Problem Gambling provides exclusion solution for young sports bettors

Sports betting in Arizona opened a new world to young adults, one where putting down money on games was as easy as sending a text message.
French trawler owners still in dark over UK-French fishing