'Make UK pay!' Fuming Macron takes hardline as punishment vowed over fishing spat

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France, the UK and Jersey have been at loggerheads over fishing rights in waters around Jersey and the wider English Channel. French fishermen protested about Jersey introducing new fishing licences after April 30 for vessels whilst the UK has come under fire from Paris for allegedly not giving out 100 fishing licences to eligible boats to access waters.

But Express.co.uk understands Paris has turned up the pressure against London ahead of French President Emanuel Macron visiting Cornwall for the G7 Summit tomorrow.

French ministers including Europe Minister Clément Beaune and Minister of the Sea Annick Girardin have also had discussions with EU chiefs in Brussels including Fisheries Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius in a bid to reach a practical solution as soon as possible.

Ahead of the summit, the Elysee Palace tonight said President Macron warned Boris Johnson in a phone call the UK needs to urgently issue fishing licenses that have still not been issued to French vessels.

A spokesman for Mr Macron also said the President called on Mr Johnson to address the Jersey situation as soon as possible.

Following today’s summit between EU Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic and Brexit minister Lord Frost, Brussels sources stressed the French were “putting the pressure” on the bloc to deliver a solution to fishing.

One source added to Express.co.uk: “With France, it’s all about tough action, we are leaning towards a ‘UK must pay’ approach.

“The message is simple: Britain is not respecting the Trade and Cooperation Agreement so we should put in place retaliatory measures.”

But the UK Government made clear it would “exercise regulatory autonomy” within British waters after holding the key talks on Wednesday about implementing the Brexit deal.

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In a letter to regional fishing chiefs, he added: “The British, unilaterally and without any prior consultation, do not respect the commitments made within the framework of the agreement.

“They interpret the stipulations in such a way as to empty them of their substance or even impose new conditions not only not foreseen in the agreement but which moreover are in contradiction with the spirit of the said agreement ”.



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