France erupted in outrage last week when the UK rejected all but 12 of France’s 47 applications for new licenses for small vessels to operate in UK fishing grounds. French President Emmanuel Macron has considered retaliatory measures, such as slapping the UK with tariffs and cutting UK access to EU energy supplies. Andy Read, the editor of Fishing News, said that “the French assume they can intimidate us into submitting more” .334

It comes after the EU called on France to back down on its fishing threats against the UK.

Mr Read told GB News: “The UK has already authorized 1,600 EU vessels to fish in UK waters this year.

“88 French vessels are already authorized to fish in the UK’s 6 to 12 mile zone. And 19 are licensed to fish in Jersey.

“The argument concerns a number of small vessels which cannot prove that they have ever fished in UK waters.”

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He continued: “It is election time in France.

“Fishing is a much higher political priority in France than in the UK.

“The biggest single market for our fish exports is France and I think the French assume they can intimidate us into submitting more.”

Mr Macron has come under pressure from his presidential rivals to take action against the UK.

The Commission plans to engage in detailed ‘boat by boat’ negotiations with the UK on the issue.

A senior EU diplomat told The Telegraph: “Once again, France is instrumentalizing the EU for national interests.

A second source said: “We need to cool the temperature of the water. We need to sit down and talk amicably. It’s very hot water right now and it’s not helping anyone. “

Earlier this week, French Prime Minister Jean Castex told the national parliament that Brussels must “do more” and be “harder” on London.


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