French Europe minister Clement Beaune has urged the European Union to take retaliatory measures against the UK if the row over granting licenses to its fishermen cannot be resolved by next Friday. The European Commission has also set that deadline for the dispute to be settled as it ramps up the pressure on Britain during the negotiations. Mr Beaune said in a video message on Saturday: “We had good news with Annick Girardin, the Minister for the Sea, this week, since a little more than 40 licenses have been confirmed by the island of Guernsey.
“And our fight continues, because we still need additional licenses, in the Channel Islands and in the Hauts-de-France.
“We will continue this discussion via the European Commission, with a very important meeting: December 10.
“As we have said, and the European Commission has said too, on December 10 we will see if the dialogue bears fruit and continues to issue licenses, finally, in additional numbers.
“Or if we are stuck, in which case we will have a European reaction, to move on to another phase, because the dialogue will not have borne fruit.
“Here it is clear, we are moving forward, we must rejoice in the good news, continue the fight, and always support our fishermen.”
But Britons have reacted furiously to the latest ultimatum from Mr Beaune, demanding Prime Minister Boris Johnson revoke all fishing licenses for the French.
Reacting to our initial story, Express reader DNeil said: “Boris will be under immense pressure following the Bexley by-election to sort this by either invoking A16 or tearing up the agreement entirely, which would of course result in all fishing licences being revoked.
“Mr Beaune had better be careful what he wishes for.”
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“Boris needs to get his head out of the clouds. The French have no right to demand.
Tonyrorybeau added: “Six days left then there will be no french fishing in UK waters!”
The latest row is centred around the number of licenses fir fishermen to operate in waters around the British coast for small boats that can prove they fished in those waters before Brexit.
France has accused the UK of not giving its fishermen enough licenses, while Britain has hit back by insisting the overwhelming majority of applications for licences have been granted.
A UK Government spokesperson said: “We continue to have technical discussions with the European Commission and French authorities.
“Our approach to fisheries licences is evidence-based and completely in line with the Trade and Cooperation Agreement.
“In total, we have licensed nearly 1,700 EU vessels to fish in our waters.
“Where vessels have provided the required evidence, we have issued licences and will continue to do so.”